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Full text of "S. 1383, Children's Protection from Violent Programming Act of 1993 : S. 973, Television Report Card Act of 1993, and S. 943, Children's Television Violence Protection Act of 1993 : hearing before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, United States Senate, One Hundred Third Congress, first session, October 20, 1993"

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COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION 



ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, 
DANIEL K. INOUYE, Hawaii 
WENDELL H. FORD, Kentucky 
J. JAMES EXON, Nebraska 
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West Vii^nia 
JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetto 
JOHN B. BREAUX, Louisiana 
RICHARD H. BRYAN, Nevada 
CHARLES S. ROBE, Viiiginia 
BYRON L. DORGAN, North DakoU 
HARLAN MATHEWS, Tennessee 



South Carolina, Chairman 
JOHN C. DANFORTH, Missouri 
BOB PACKWOOD, Oregon 
LARRY PRESSLER, South DakoU 
TED STEVENS, Alaska 
JOHN MCCAIN, Anzona 
CONRAD BURNS, MonUna 
SLADE GORTON, Washington 
TRENT LOTT, Mississippi 
KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON. Texas 



Kevin G. Curtin, Chief Counsel and Staff" Director 
Jonathan Chambers, Republican Staff Director 



(II) 



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CONTENTS 



PttfB 

Opening statement of Senator Bums 8 

Opening statement of Senator Danforth 6 

Opening statement of Senator Dorgan 9 

Opening statement of Senator Exon 7 

Prepared statement 7 

Opening statement of Senator Gorton 13 

Opening statement of Senator Rollings 1 

Prepared statement 5 

Opening statement of Senator Hutchison 14 

Opening statement of Senator Kerry 10 

Opening statement of Senator Pressler 14 

Prepared statement 15 

Prepared statement of Senator McCain 15 

List of Witnesses 

Belter, Catherine A., Vice President for Legislative Activity, National Parent- 
Teacher Association 68 

Prepared statement 71 

Cox, Winston H., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Showtime Networks 
Inc., and Chairman, National Cable Television Association's Satellite Net- 
work Programmers Committee 105 

Prepared statement 109 

Davis, Gael L., President, East Side Section, National Council of Negro 

Women 79 

DeVaney, Al, Senior Vice President and General Manager, WPWR-TV Chan- 
nel 50, and Board Chairman, Association of Independent Television Sta- 
tions, Inc 96 

Prepared statement 98 

Donnerstein, Edward, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Communications, Uni- 
versity of California 58 

Prepared statement 60 

Dovre, Paul J., President, Concordia College 76 

Prepared statement 77 

Durenberger, Hon. Dave, U.S. Senator from Minnesota 16 

Prepared statement 18 

Gould, Robert, M.D., Chairman, National Coalition on Television Violence 63 

Prepared statement 66 

Levin, Hon. Carl, U.S. Senator from Michigan 19 

Prepared statement 21 

Purl, Mara, Susan Clark, and Alex Karas, joint statement of 85 

Quello, James H., Chairman, Federal Communications Commission, prepared 

statement of 2 

Reno, Hon. Janet, Attorney General of the United States, Department of 

Justice 25 

Prepared statement 34 

Simon, Hon. Paul, U.S. Senator from Dlinois 22 

Stockwell, Joy, and Dean Stockwell, joint statement of 85 

Stringer, Howard, President, CBS Broadcast Group 92 

Prepared statement 94 

Valenti, Jack, President and Chief Executive Officer, the Motion Picture 

Association of America 89 

Prepared statement 91 

Vradenburg, George, III, Executive Vice President, Fox, Inc 86 

(III) 



7.000 ^ T 

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IV 

Page 
Vradenburg, George, III, Executive Vice President, Fox, Inc — Continued 

Prepared statement 88 

Wagner, Lindsay, Pacific Palisades, CA 62 

Appendix 

Levin, Senator Carl, Chairman, Subcommittee on Oversight of Government 

Management, letter from, to Senator HoUings, dated November 3, 1993 130 

Americcm Medical Association, prepared statement of the 127 

Donnerstein, Ed, Ph.D., Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara, 

letter from, to John Windhausen 133 

Dorgan, Senator, prepared statement of 125 

H.F. Guggenheim Urges Vigilance Against Media Violence (press release) 132 



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S. Hrg. 103^52 

S. 1383, CHILDREN'S PROTECTION FROM VIOLENT 
PROGRAMMING ACT OF 1993; S. 973, TELE- 
VISION REPORT CARD ACT OF 1993; AND 
S. 943, CHILDREN'S TELEVISION VIOLENCE PRa 
TECnON ACT OF 1993 

^^^^^^ biANhORD 

LIBRARIES 

HEARING 

BEFORE THE 

COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, 

SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION 

UNITED STATES SENATE 

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS 
FIRST SESSION 



OCTOBER 20, 1993 



Printed for the use of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation 




U.3. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
WASHINGTON : 1993 



Fur Kale by the U.S. Govtrmmcni Priming Office 
SupCTiniendent of Dwumenis, Congressipoal Sdes Office, Washinglfwi, DC 20402 
ISBN 0-16-046327-0 



IV 

Page 

Vradenburg, George, III, Executive Vice President, Fox, Inc — Continued 

Prepared statement 88 

Wagner, Lindsay, Pacific Palisades, CA 62 

Appendix 

Levin, Senator Carl, Chairman, Subcommittee on Oversight of Government 

Management, letter from, to Senator HoUings, dated November 3, 1993 130 

Americcm Medical Association, prepared statement of the 127 

Donnerstein, Ed, Ph.D., Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara, 

letter from, to John Windhausen 133 

Dorgan, Senator, prepared statement of 125 

H.F. Guggenheim Urges Vigilance Against Media Violence (press release) 132 



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S. 1383, CHILDREN'S PROTECTION FROM VIO- 
LENT PROGRAMMING ACT OF 1993; S. 973, 
TELEVISION REPORT CARD ACT OF 1993; 
AND S. 943, CHILDREN'S TELEVISION VIO- 
LENCE PROTECTION ACT OF 1993 



WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20, ld93 

U.S. Senate, 
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, 

^ Washington, DC. 

The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:35 a.m. in room SR- 
253, Russell Senate Office Building, Hon. Ernest F. Rollings (chair- 
man of the committee) presiding. 

StaflF members assigned to this hearing: John D. Windhausen, 
Jr., StaflF counsel; and Regina M. Keeney, minority senior staflF 
counsel, and Mary P. McManus, minority staflF counsel. 

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR ROLLINGS 

The Chairman. The committee will please come to order. Today 
we commence our hearing with respect to television violence. 

In a line, the American Psychological Association estimates the 
typical child will watch 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of violence 
before finishing elementary school. And we have seen the diflFerent 
acts over the years. Johnny Carson, when he put in a harmless 
way just a noose around his neck, dropping him through a hole, of 
course he emerged unharmed. A little 4-year-old, Nick DeFilippo, 
tried it and was found dead before the NBC TV screen. 

We had 'The Deer Hunter," where those in the war were playing 
Russian roulette, flipping the barrel of the gun, taking tneir 
chances to whether the single bullet would strike. And after that 

Particular scene in "The Deer Hunter," 26 people were found dead 
-om self-inflicted gunshot wounds to the head. 

It is getting worse and worse. The American Pediatric Associa- 
tion has found out that acts of violence have trebled here in the 
eighties. And I think the important thing to record here as this 
committee, and I will put my full statement in the record, is that 
we started back in 1952 over on the House side, and then on the 
Senate side with Senator Estes Kefauver in 1954. 

Senator Pastore, in the sixties, started a series of hearings when 
I first got to the Congress, ana he had hearings in 1969, 1971, 
1972, and 3 days of hearings again in 1974. 

I want to make a note here that about those hearings in 1974, 
because you are going to hear the industry talk about its guidelines 
and self-regulation. I have a record here of the release of the Fed- 
CD 



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eral Communications Commission dated February 1975, 18 years 
ago, where the industry said 18 years ago *'We are going to put out 
these guidelines and control ourselves." From some of the prepared 
statements, that is exactly what they are saying 18 years later 
today. 

But Chairman Wiley at times said, of course, that the new pro- 
posal would go into effect and they had no reason to expect that 
the board would reject the proposal, and here they have got that 
the guidelines would receive favorable support by the American 
public, and they had no reason to believe that this would not con- 
trol it, and that would end TV violence back in 1975. 

Again, we had hearings in 1976 that I conducted, and 1977, 
1989. And the reason, as your chairman, that I relate this is that 
we do not come anew to a problem. We come to a worsening prob- 
lem. A problem that has reached a crisis stage. And what we have 
now is the responsibility, knowing of the overwhelming and com- 
pelling State interests, to determine the least restrictive manner in 
which we can control it. 

We all believe in the first amendment, and yet the courts have 
found over the years that they can control indecency on*tele vision, 
and that has been since 1927, that at least now we can use that 
as a precedent to control this violence. 

So, we will be looking and making this particular record to deter- 
mine the compelling State interest, examine the historical record of 
the committee and the Congress over the years, review the asser- 
tions of the industry of how "we are going to police ourselves" and 
instead seeing the amount of television violence becoming worse 
and worse, and study the numerous bills that have been intro- 
duced. 

Let me at this particular time, also add into the record the state- 
ment of the Acting Chairman of the FCC, Mr. James Quello. Obvi- 
ousW, the new chairman has been recommended and reported for 
confirmation by this committee. Mr. Quello has been there for 
years. He is experienced. He did not want to appear to be talking 
for the FCC, but he talks as an individual commissioner from his 
own experience, a very, very valuable statement. 

[The prepared statements of James H. Quello and Senator Hol- 
lings follow:] 

Prepared Statement of James H. Quello, Chairman, Federal Communications 

Commission 

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to express my views to the Conmiittee 
on this very important problem ana on pending legislation to address it. 

The American public nas become increasingly outraged by the excessively graphic 
violence in television pn)n*amming, and has beffun to seriously question whether 
the public interest is really being served by making this type of programming so 
readily available to children and young teenagers. 

The distinguished Senator Paul Simon took a leadership position in responding 
to this public outcry by legislating an antitrust exemption to allow networks and 
cable to discuss joint eflbrts to voluntarily reduce excess violence on television. Sen- 
ator Simon (|uoted a veiy frightening article in The Journal of the American Medi- 
cal Association** by a distinguished psychiatrist whose study of murder rates among 
whites in several countries, including the United States, shows that the murder rate 
doubled 10 to 16 years after the introduction of television into the nation's culture. 
Dr. Brandon S. Centerwall of the Department of Psychiatiy and Behavioral Sciences 
at the University of Washington, concluded a study by stating ''liOng term childhood 
exposure to television is a causal factor behind approximately one-half of the homi- 
cides committed in the United Stateii, or approximately 10,000 homicides annuaUy. 



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If, hypothetically, television technology had never been developed, there would today 
be 10,000 fewer homicides each year in the United States. 70,00 fewer rapes and 
700,000 fewer injurious assaults. 

In response to Senator Simon's initiative, the National Association of Broadcasters 
adopted a voluntary programming principle stating The use of violence for its own 
sake and the detailed dwelling upon brutality of physical asony by sight or sound 
should be avoided." This is a commendable first step, but tnere is no enforcement 
action. 

Teny Rakolta, President of Americans for Responsible TV and a presidential ap- 
pointee to the National Endowment for Children s Television at the Commerce De- 
gartment, quotes startling figures on TV violence and requested Senator Simon and 
on^ssman Din^ll to sponsor legislation to reduce violence duringchildren's 
viewing hours similar to statutes prohibiting indecency and obscenity. This would 

{>rovide the FCC with enforcement authority to protect children from graphic vio- 
ence, similar to indecency. Mrs. Rakolta quotes a recent study by the Annenbei^g 
School of Communications that finds that violence during children's viewing hours 
has readied a historic high of 32 acts of violence per hour. She quotes the study 
as finding, "By the time a child is 16, he or she will have seen 300,000 murders 
and 200,000 acts of violence on network TV. They will have watched 18,000 hours 
of television, compared to 11,000 hours of classroom work!" The Hollings bill, S. 
1383, provides the scdeguards for children that Mrs. Rakolta is requesting. 

David S. Barry, TV and screen writer, in the Januaiy 1993 issue of Tne Journal 
stated "America is in the grip of an epidemic of violence so severe that homicide 
has become the second leamng cause of death of all persons 15 to 24 years old. Auto 
crashes are the first. The U.S. Center for Disease Control considers violence a lead- 
ing public health issue to be treated as an epidemic. The American Medical Associa- 
tion, the National Institute of Mental Healtn, the U.S. Suraeon General's office, the 
UJS. Center for Disease Control and the American Psychological Association nave 
all concluded that study after study shows a direct causal link between screen vio- 
lence and violent criminal behavior." 

A 39-page research report released this year by APA, NIMH and the CDC, con- 
ducted by distinguished professors from Harvard University, University of Chicago 
and University of California, states that, contrary to the arguments of people in the 
television and motion picture industries, the mcgor medicalorganizations are all in 
agreement on the effects of media violence. The data confirm that childhood watch- 
ing of TV violence is directly related to criminally violent behavior later on. 

David Levy, President of Wilshire Productions, Inc. and Executive Secretary of the 
Writers, directors, and Producers Caucus in Los Angeles, writes, '^x and violence 
properly used and motivated are acceptable elements of drama. Exploitative violence 
ana sex are unacceptable elements. Excessive sex and violence in any form are not 
m the public interest.* 

Today I am very worried and disturbed by the apparently proven effect that TV 
violence is having on our youth, and also on the way it desensitizes all members 
of our society to brutality, rape and murder. I remember reading an astounding fig- 
ure from the National Cfouncil of the Churches of Christ, that during the period of 
the Viet Nam War, over 50,000 American militaiy men lost their lives. But during 
the same period, 84,000 civilians were killed in the U.S. by firearms. What is the 
fi^re today, with more homicides than ever? Certainly this is not all caused by tele- 
vision, but TV, as the most influential and pervasive medium, is a contributing fac- 
tor. 

America's epidemic of violence in 1992 and 1993 must be brought under control. 
If responsible TV and cable executives and program producers do not take the lead, 
then Congress must. It is time to place the public good ahead of appealing to the 
lowest common denominator of society for profits. Cktvemment intervention in pro- 
gram content has bothersome First Amendment implications for me. But if the First 
Amendment conflicts with outrageous programs that can be justifiably charged with 
violating the public interest, then the public interest must prevail. Con^ss must 
decide what steps are appropriate. For example, there may well be merit m legislat- 
ing time constraints to protect children from brutality, sadistic murder and rape, 
similar to time constraints on indecent programming that have been upheld by court 
decisions. 

I believe that S. 1383, introduced by Chairman Hollings, constitutes the most 
practical legislative step toward accomplishing this ffoal, and should be enacted if 
self-regulation is ineffective. S. 1383 would rec^uire me FCC to promulgate regula- 
tions to prohibit any person from distributing— defined as Ho send, transmit, 
retransmit, telecast, broadcast, or cablecast, including by wire, microwave or sat- 
ellite"— to the public "any violent video pro^mming during hours when children 
are reasonably likely to comprise a substantial portion of the audience, or to know- 



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ingly produce or provide material for such distribution." S. 1383 would, however, ex- 
empt premium and pay-per-view cable progamming, and properly allows the FCC 
to exempt news, documentaries, educational and sports programming. With S. 1383, 
the FCC is chaiiged with the responsibility of defining appropriate hours and ^vio- 
lent video programming." In this regard, I would respectfully ask that Congress pro- 
vide some direction to the FCC, either in amended legislative language or in the 
Conference Report, on the appropriate means for, and the factors that should be re- 
lied upon, when defining "violent video programming." Whatever the FCC does in 
this respect will undoubtedly be challenged in court, and legislative guidance would 
provide siniificant assistance in defending the agency's actions in implementing 
whatever Congress ultimately adopts. In addition, Congress may wish to consider 
additional enforcement mechanisms for program producers. While the proposed stat- 
utory language would also extend the prohibition to producers of programming, un- 
less those producers are licensees the FCC would have no means of enforcing the 
statute against such entities. 

S. 943, introduced by the distinguished Senator Durenberger, provides another 
possible legislative solution that could be defended against a First Amendment chal- 
lenge. This bill would require the FCC to prescribe standards requiring video and 
audible warnings in connection with any programming which may contain violence 
or unsafe gun practices. This warning requirement would apply to television broad- 
cast licensees and cable operators providing service under a franchise agreement, 
but it would not apply to programming broadcast between 11:00 pm and 6:00 am 
local time. While I believe that this proposal would certainly provide positive steps 
for addressing this public interest concern, I fear that it may be underinclusive with 
respect to the distribution entities covered. In the ever-changing world of video dis- 
tribution, with new technologies and alliances developing eveiy day, a limitation to 
broadcasters and franchised cable operators could leave significant regulatory gaps. 
And, for the same reasons I stated previously, legislative guidance on the appro- 
priate means and factors for defining ^Violent programming" would be of enormous 
benefit to the FCC in implementing regulations and in defending them against the 
inevitable court challenge. 

Finally, while I applaud the efforts of the distinguished Senator Dorgan in his 
proposal, S. 973, that would require the FCC to establish a program to evaluate and 
rate broadcast and major cable network programming with respect to the extent of 
violence contained in such programming, I have two significant concerns about this 
proposal. There is no question that publication of the type of information suggested 
by Senator Dorgan would be most helpful to parents who are concerned with the 
content of programming watched by their children. I am extremely concerned, how- 
ever, about the First Amendment ramifications of having programming evaluated in 
this manner by a government agency. Moreover, I am also quite concerned about 
the administrative burden that quarterly reports of this nature would place on the 
already overburdened and understaffed Commission. All programs carried on all TV 
stations and cable channels throughout the entire country for one week every quar- 
ter represents an astounding amount of programming to be reviewed. And as we 
move to a 500-cable channel environment, the regulatory burden would be 
astonomical. For these reasons, regretfully I cannot endorse Senator Dorgan's well- 
meaning proposed legislation, inasmuch as it would require intrusive and extensive 
review and evaluation by the FCC. 

I mig^t respectfully suggest, however, as an alternative, the establishment of an 
independent oi^anization, not controlled by the government, to provide such a re- 
port on the content of programming that parents could use. This mig^t furnish a 
very appealing means of assisting parents in this troubling area. Such an approach 
would minimize government intrusion into content, but still provide parents with 
guidance on program content, particularly when so much programming is becoming 
increasingly available. 

In sununary, I believe that the public interest must be paramount, and the dis- 
turbing statistics and growing public complaints suggest that legislative action may 
well be required so long as voluntary action is not forthcoming. Thus, I support the 
efforts of this distinguished Committee to address what I believe to be a very seri- 
ous and substantial social issue, and 1 assure you that the Commission will vigor- 
ously enforce whatever legislation is ultimately adopted. 

Thank you. 



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Prepared Statement of Senator Hollings 

I am pleased to chair this ixnportant hearing today in the Senate Commerce Com- 
mittee on television violence. This Committee has a long history of concern about 
this issue. 

The first hearings took place in the House in 1952, and Senator Estes Kefauver 
followed up with hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1954. After the 
urban riots in the 1960's, Senator Pastore held hearings in this Commerce Commit- 
tee and petitioned the Surgeon General to investigate the effects of TV violence. 
However, the broadcast networks opposed any legislation, the then-FCC Chairman, 
Dean Burch, said that he opposed making programming judgments, and so nothing 
was done. 

This Committee continued to hold hearings, hoping to bring pressure on the in- 
dustry to regulate itself. The Committee held 3 days of hearings in 1969, one day 
in 1971, four days in 1972, three days in 1974, one day in 1976, three days in 1977, 
and one day in 1989. In all, this Committee has held 16 days of hearings on matters 
related to television violence since 1969. 

Despite our best efforts, the amount of violence on television continues to grow. 
According to a study by George Gerbner at the University of Pennsylvania, there 
were a record 32 acts of violence on television per hour during children's shows in 
1992. The American Psychological Association estimates that a typical child will 
watch 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of violence before finishing elementary 
school. 

The most recent studies show that violence on television has a significant impact 
on children. The National Institute of Mental Health, the American Psychological 
Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Centers for Disease Con- 
trol all conclude that violence on television breeds violent behavior. 

Children are uniquely influenced by what they see on television. Let me give a 
few examples: in 1979, a stunt man put a noose around Johnny Carson's neck and 
dropped him through a trap door. Johnny emerged unharmed, but 4-year-old Nick 
deFilippo was found dead the next morning with a rope around his neck in front 
of a TV set tuned to NBC. The movie "The Deer Hunter", which contains scenes 
of prisoners of war playing Russian Roulette with a gun to their heads, was aired 
on network television. Afterwards, 26 people were found dead because of self-in- 
flicted gunshot wounds to the head. Just last week, a five-year-old boy set fire to 
his home, killing his baby sister, after watching the TV diaracters "Beavis and 
Butt-head" describe fire as "cool". 

Television should be a way to entertain, educate and teach our kids how to grow, 
not a way to teach them how to shoot to kill. Yet the homicide rate in this countiy 
grows and grows. Four times as many people are murdered in the,U.S. as in Europe 
and eleven times as many as Japan. 

The American public has had enough of Reagan era deregulation. For years we 
were told to let tne market forces take care of protecting children. Television pro- 
grammers will regulate themselves, we were told. So Congress passed the Television 
Violence Act of 1990, giving the television industry an antitrust exemption so they 
could adopt voluntary standards. What was the result? 

Hie television industry agreed to place warning labels on their violent programs. 
Some believe that these warnings simply will encourage children to watch the shows 
labeled as violent. Others ai^e that warnings are ineffective because many chil- 
dren are unsupervised. 

Tliese actions are not enough. We can no longer rely on broadcasters to regulate 
themselves. It is time for Congress to act. Several efforts have recently been made 
to limit the growth of indecency on television. In 1990, Congress passed the Chil- 
dren's Television Act of 1990, which provided funding for children s programming, 
limited advertisements on children's shows, and directed the broadcasters to in- 
crease the amount of programming for children. That was a good step forward, but 
Congress needs to address the problem of violence directly. 

That is why I introduced my bill to ban the showing of violent programs during 
hours when children are a substantial part of the audience. My bill treats violence 
like indecency. If indecent material cannot be shown on television, violence should 
not be shown, either. Other Members share my concern and have ofTered other legis- 
lative proposals. 

Let me be clear. I am sensitive to the Constitutional reauirements of the First 
Amendment. I understand the limitations about censorship, but we have got to pro- 
tect our children. They are our most valuable national treasure, and their well-being 
is a compelling state interest. Congress must consider this issue carefully, and act 
with the least restrictive means, without trampling on the First Amendment. 



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This hearing will explore the various proposals for dealing with this issue that 
have been presented to see what further action should be taken in this area. I thank 
nil the mttniwm§ far their appearance this morning and look forward to their testi- 



Hie Chairman. Let me yield now to my ranking member. 

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR DANFORTH 

Senator Danporth. Mr. Chairman, this is a very worthwhile 
hearing. I am not exactly sure what we in Government should be 
doine about this situation or trying to do about this situation. It 
is clear to me, as a nonprofessional and nonpsychologist and 
nonsociologist, Uiat a good part of what has gone wrong in this 
country is due to our mass media — the coarsenmg of America; the 
feet that not onlv are people shooting people, children are shooting 
children; Uie collapse of tne American family; the constant parade 
of stories of sex offenses by teachers against children, and on and 
on it goes. And it really is a cultural problem in America. And the 
great, great creator of culture in this country is the mass media, 
and particularly the medium of television. 

Even the most casual watcher of television knows that something 
has gone crazy. Just as an example, surfing the channels on Sun- 
day night to find the World Series, a word which is just not said 
in polite society, at about 8 or 8:30 at night, there it was on cable 
television. 

The violence, the sex, the general sleaziness both of broadcast 
and cable television is really an outrage, and it is more than iust 
something that shocks the oasic sensitivities of people. I am abso- 
lutely convinced that it causes a major problem in the way we treat 
one another as Americans. 

I would think that the people who are in this so-called industry, 
broadcast television, cable television, I would think they would be 
ashamed of themselves. And maybe that is the most important 
thing that we can help do. Maybe there is not any legislation. 
Maybe there should not be any legislation. Clearly the first amend- 
ment is absolutely essential. But at least maybe there should be 
some sense of shame. 

I must say, I do not see it. The little I watch television, my basic 
impression is that whether it is the movie business or the tele- 
vision business, or one form of entertainment or another, they are 
in the constant process of hosting black-tie award ceremonies for 
themselves where they honor themselves for what wonderful jobs 
they are doing and what wonderful benefits they are to this coun- 
try. 

I think somebody should sponsor a sleaze award ceremony where 
people show up, not in black ties but in coveralls, dressed as gar- 
bage men, and they recognize what is really going on in the me- 
dium of television. I am not sure that that is particularly a govern- 
mental enterprise, but I think somebody should do it. In any 
event 

The Chairman. You have not been watching MTV. They do wear 
overalls and garbage. 

Senator DAhOJ^ORTH. Well, then there is hope. In any event, Mr. 
Chairman, I am pleased you are holding this hearing. I think that 



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focusing attention on this sickness that is so pervasive in our soci- 
ety is a worthwhile thing to do. 
The Chairman. Senator Exon. 

OPEND4G STATEMENT OF SENATOR EXON 

Senator ExON. Mr. Chairman, I will ask unanimous consent that 
the full contents of my statement this morning be entered into the 
record. 

I will take 1 minute, if I might. I certainly want to congratulate 
you in calling this most important and extremely timely hearing. 
I have listened and endorsed and associated myself with the re- 
marks of both you and Senator Danforth. 

It seems to me, Mr. Chairman, that America faces a very serious 
crisis for a number of complex reasons. The moral code, the rules 
of decent behavior, the Ten Commandments if you will, are simply 
not being eflFectively passed down from generation to generation. 

The traditional source of moral authority, the family, is being 
overwhelmed and overruled by the electronic emperors which de- 
cree what is right and wrong, and what is decent, and what is nor- 
mal. I am not convinced that we or the majority of the people that 
we represent here have the dedication and the courage to do some- 
thing about this, but I think the time has long since passed and 
we snould try again. / 

I would ask that the rest of my statement be included in the 
record. 

[The prepared statement of Senator Exon follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Senator Exon 

Mr. Chairman, I congratulate you on calling a most important and timely hearing. 

America faces a serious crisis. For a number of complex reasons, the moral code — 
the rules of decent behavior — the Ten Commandments — if you will — are simply not 
being effectively passed down from generation to generation. The traditional sources 
of moral authority — ^the family, the church, the community — are being overwhelmed 
and overruled by electronic emperors which decree what is ri^ht and wrong and 
what is decent and normal. I am not convinced we or the majority we represent 
have the determination or the will to do something but the time has long since 
passed for us to not try again. 

The basic premise of commercial television is that viewers will be influenced by 
30 and 60 second messages to take monev out of their pockets to buy products and 
services which are advertised. It should oe no surprise that a nation is influenced 
by years of 30 and 60 minute programs which advertise lust, violence and vulgarity. 

I remember a time before tnere was television. I also remember a golden age of 
television — when Jack Benny, Desi and Lucy, Milton Berle, Edward R. Murrow and 
Arturo Toscanini captivated the nation without stooping to the sensational trash of 
the modem era. 

Broadcasters once had strong "standards and practices" departments. The indus- 
try once policed itself through tne television code. 

Restoring that restraint, either voluntarily, through public pressure or, if nee- 
essaiy, through legislation will not be a panacea, but it will be a much needed start. 

As the nation stands on the edge of an information revolution, where households 
will gain access to as many as 500 channels of programming at any given time, not 
only must broadcasters and cable programmers exercise restraint anaresponsibility, 
parents must also take stock of their duties and assert control of their households. 

I suspect that in the heat of debate, broadcasters may be unfairly tagged with the 
sins of other members of the "entertainment industiy." To their credit, in recent 
years some broadcast networks have heard the public and have tamed some of their 
programming, especially during children's viewing hours. 

Unfortunately, at the same time, in the quest lor ratings, some broadcasters have 
again tested the boundaries during the so-called "adult" hour, which in my part of 
the oountiy falls between the relatively early hours of nine and ten pm. And sadly, 
on the cable side of the TV dial, there has been very little self restraint. 



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Mr. Chairman, I look forward to the testimony of today's witnesses and the dia- 
loffue which will follow. 
Thank you Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much. Senator Burns. 

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR BURNS 

Senator Burns. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank jyou 
for holding these hearings today. And I think all we have to cio — 
I do not get to watch too much prime time television any more, but 
I get letters from my constituents that do, and they too are con- 
cerned about what we are seeing on our TV screens and other 
media. 

If one wants to really look at violence on television, I do not 
think you have to just separate out network programming during 
prime time. Take a look a your local TV news broadcasts in the 
evening. You will see all the violence you want to see right there. 
Maybe that will hold you for the rest of the day. 

The concern about this is not new. In fact, there were hearings 
in 1952 by the House of Representatives. There were also Senate 
hearings in 1954. There were some concerns then. The American 
people were alarmed by the spread of violence and asked Congress 
to l^e some decisive steps that may reclaim their neighborhoods 
and their communities. 

Yet many of the factors that lead to violence, the shortage of po- 
lice officers, the inadequate prison space, drug use, poverty, the 
breakdown of the family do not lend themselves to ready solutions. 

For many, regulating television violence offers lawmakers a re- 
sponse to constituents' concerns that requires no new spending and 
no ideological divisions. It can become verv populist. 

There are no new simple solutions to this complex problem. The 
American people know and understand this. As a result, as easy 
as it might be and as politically attractive as it might appear, I do 
not intend to jump on the bandwagon. I intend to be the voice of 
moderation and reason in talking about constructive alternatives 
as this debate moves forward. 

While I will take a back seat to no one in this body when it 
comes to supporting tough, effective proposals to deal with violence 
in our society, I am troubled by the bills before this committee 
today. When I went in the broadcast business it was very simple 
to go into farm broadcast. We do not have to fiddle around with 
that. 

But TV violence legislation before this committee poses dangers 
to free expression either directly or by requiring Gfovernment to 
censor, regulate, or burden the content of TV broadcasting, or indi- 
rectly by making broadcasters more vulnerable to private boycotts 
that seek to drive controversial programming from the airwaves. 

I have the same feeling about this violence on television as my 
ranking member. Senator Danforth from Missouri. He makes a 
very, very strong case. But I think it is the broadcasters' and the 
programmers' responsibility to take a look a what they are doing 
and the effects or possible effects they have on our society. And 
they, along with the rest of society, have to shoulder some of that 
responsibility. 



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Even accepting the argument that TV violence causes violent 
conduct, censorsnip is the wrong solution in a democratic society. 
Censorship always creates more problems than it solves. So, we 
must work together — the media, the community, parents, and Gov- 
ernment, in taking responsibility for this problem. 

An alternative solution, a technical solution, involves empower- 
ing parents and families to make responsible viewing decisions. We 
have the technology to do it. A parental empowerment solution can 
be achieved by requiring a blocking device that works on a pro- 
gram-by-program basis. This shoula be distinguished from Chair- 
man Markey s proposal, which would permit blocking on an across- 
the-board basis. 

This program-by-program blocking approach would work in man- 
ner similar to which VCR Plus technology, through a simple 3-digit 
code that can be programmed to record a specific program. 

We can talk about all the technological solutions, but I think it 
is time for the American people — and when I say American people 
it involves both media, programmers, and parents. All of us have 
to shoulder some responsibility for what is happening in program- 
ming. We have to go back and reevaluate our values. 

So, Mr. Chairman, I think this is a timely subject and I appre- 
ciate these hearings. But I think we have to take the road of sane- 
ness whenever we approach this thing regarding this society and 
how it wants to live. 

Thank you. 

The Chairman. Thank you. Senator Dorgan. 

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR DORGAN 

Senator Dorgan. Mr. Chairman, I introduced a piece of legisla- 
tion on television violence last May. Shortly after I introduced it, 
I was visited on the subject of health care by a pediatrician in my 
office. We were not talking about television violence, but I said how 
have things changed for a pediatrician? Well, he said, we see dif- 
ferent kinds of injuries these days with young children. And I said, 
tell me about it. 

Oh, he said, the other day a 4-year-old comes in who has been 
mashed across the side of the heaa by a baseball bat. The neighbor 
kid, age 4, is watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, comes out- 
side to play with the i-year-old neighbor boy, and does not distin- 
guish between fantasy and reality and takes the baseball bat and 
swipes the neighbor boy across the head. 

It reminded me, when he told me that, of something I had read 
in the Christian Science Monitor. Let me read it for you. This is 
from the person that sells Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.^ "At 
home, we ao not get many objections to violence in our shows," she 
says. "Americans are kind of used to it. But abroad, it is a very dif- 
ferent story. The BBC in Britain would not buy the Turtles unless 
they could edit out some of the violence. It is that version that we 
sold the rest of the world. Otherwise, the Turtles would not have 
done nearly as well." 

Shame on us if we show more violent versions of cartoon shows 
or other shows in this country, show more violent versions to our 
children than other children in the rest of the world are shown. 
And that underscores and demonstrates the problem. 



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Let me say, Mr. Danforth, your statement, I thought, was elo- 
quent and right on point. Television is not the cause of all of oar 
problems, but television is a habit. One student of the industry 
called it a plug-in drug. It is especially a habit where children are 
concerned. And television violence is an addiction, too. And, like 
addictions, it is both an addiction for the audience that watches it 
and the television executives who produce it. And it takes con- 
stantly higher doses to achieve the same effect. 

Now, we do not break addictions like this with earnest resolu- 
tions or spasms of high-level concern. We have had those in the 
Rast. The only way to break a bad habit is to establish a better 
abit. We have to build and reinforce in the information structure 
in our society cultural warning lights that flash us when we have 
broadcasts and programming that comes in to pollute our living 
rooms. 

Now, I have suggested, Mr. Chairman, that we have a television 
violence report card published once each quarter by the Federal 
Communications Commission. In effect, Mr. Danforth sugg^ested an 
award show, an award show for those who produce the worst You 
could not have an award show at this point, because we do not 
know who they are. We do not know who they are, and we do not 
know who sponsors them. 

My proposal would at least establish a criteria for your award 
show, and we would understand what are the most violent shows 
in this country and who is producing them. 

Let me make one final comment. 

Providing information to people with which to use to make their 
views known is democracy from the bottom up. We plug gprocery 
store aisles these days looking at the sides of cans and boxes to 
find out how much fat and sodium is there. We gave people infor- 
mation and they use it. I can give you example afler example of 
that happening. 

I would like to see an executive in some business in this country 
take a look at a listing that says my company sponsored the most 
violent programming in this country. They would dam sure tell the 
people who are doing their buying, I want off that list, and quick. 

Ajnd that is my suggestion. I support other suggestions that are 
offered today, Mr. Chairman, but I want to commend you for hold- 
ing this hearing. This is a very important subject. And I hope that 
we will make some progress in responding to what I think is an 
important issue in this country. 

The Chairman. Very good. Senator Kerry. 

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR KERRY 

Senator KERRY. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. 

I also want to thank you for having this hearing, which I think 
is both timely and obviously very important. 

The other day I woke up in Boston to the news, to one of our 
major channels. And the first, this is the lead sort of news show 
in the morning, and the first news item was a murder in southeast- 
em Massachusetts. I am in Boston. The next news item was a fire 
somewhere well out of the Boston area. The third news item was 
another murder. And the fourth news item was a murder in an- 



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other State. It happened to be a triple-murder, so it was particu- 
larly attractive. 

Then we finally had some news about the economy, a major story 
on what had happened with the President in terms of the economy, 
the trade deficit, et cetera. And I guess, you know, it is just one 
more example of the way in which the news media are playing to 
their sense that this is what people want to watch. And we get 
caught in this vicious cycle. The news directors, the programmers, 
everybody feels, gee, if we are not competitive with our level of vio- 
lence we are not going to make the ratings, or I am going to get 
fired. And so there is nobody breaking that (r^cle of profit. 

Now, we often hear, and it will be part of this debate, that, you 
know, art imitates life, not life imitating art. And that is a debate 
that has gone on for a long time. But the fact is that we have 
learned — ^there have been over 1,000 studies, and I am not sure 
there are many people legitimately contesting any longer the no- 
tion that there is a linkage between violence on television, ihe vio- 
lence people see, and the way some people choose to behave. 

I remember as a young kid I had nightmares over the Wizard of 
Oz, the witch. I mean, kids do not have nightmares any more over 
that kind of thing. They see so much violence now that they are 
inured to the capacity for that. They do not separate reality and 
fantasv. And for too many of our kids in this country, they are 
being brought up without parents, 11 percent; or with only a single 
parent in uie inner city, 80 percent, 75 percent in many commu- 
nities in America, and it was only 27 percent 20 years ago. 

If you look at the level of violence curve in this country, you take 
those kids, in 1965, when Pat Moynihan talked about what was 
happening in the inner city, those kids became 15 in 1980, and you 
could see what happened to 15-year-oIds in this country and the 
level of violence and crime. 

In 1975, the level of unwed parents giving birth, and kids there- 
fore living without families and watching television as the narcotic, 
as the b^ysitter, went up to 50 percent. And those kids became 

15 and 16 in 1990. And you can see what happened to the youth 
curve of violence in 1990. 

Today, it is 75 and 80 percent in most of the inner cities of the 
United States of America. And those kids are going to turn 15 and 

16 in the year 2000, 2005 or somewhere. And I can tell you, watch- 
ing television, which is their narcotic today, listening to rap music 
that encourages the murder of cops and other things, we are going 
to inherit what we are marketing. 

Now, leave aside the question of whether or not there is a link- 
age. I think there is, and I think most people of common sense be- 
lieve there is. Still, ask yourself. Is this the best that a civilized so- 
ciety has to offer for entertainment, people puttin^^ guns to people's 
heads and blowing their brains out? It is extraordmary. I mean, for 
a civilized society to pretend that even if there is not a linkage, this 
is what we want to do, is mindboggling. 

Now, I am not here today to suggest that the media is respon- 
sible for all of this. It is not. And we better understand that and 
react to it. The Attorney General will be coming on shortly. I read 
yesterday's newspaper on this new drug program; we are shifting 



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to treatment and education, which is a good move. We should \m 
done it long ago. But there are no resources being added. 

And there is a de^pree to which art is imitating life. This began 
in the 1960's or earlier. And people began to reflect what was tuqi- 
pening in drug'-infested communities, and the increase of the use 
of guns. And then it kind of caught on more. But we did not re- 
spond. Congress did not do anything. The country did not do any- 
thing. 

The fact is that in America today, we have got too many commu- 
nities where you have a drug-ridden reality, a reality in which in- 
stitutions of civilized life have literally broken down and we have 
turned on backs on them — schools that have no money, boys and 
girls clubs that have closed. You can run down the list. Storefronts 
that are boarded up because businesses will not move there. And 
we have done precious little about it. 

Now, we have an Attorney General coming before us today who 
will share with us the fact that 83 percent of all Americans are 
going to be the victims of a violent crime at some point in their 
life — 83 percent. That is an absolutely extraordinary figure. And 
yet, we have fewer police on the street today than we did 15 years 
ago, 20 years ago. 

So, Mr. Chairman, we are not responding either, in terms of this. 
Now, the truth is that despite all of that picture of crime, we have 
never had kids in this country before wno talk matter of factly 
about blowing each other away. We have literally never had a 
country where guns are as common and kids talk about them— I 
mean, you know you can go in any of these cities and talk to these 
kids, thev will tell you about guns as matter of factly as they would 
of a childhood story 20 years ago or so. 

So, television is the great communicator. It has to be an agent 
of the change, along with us. And it has to be responsible. And I 
will say. Mr. Chairman, that I have seen the industry standards 
for the depiction of violence in television programs. Ana let me just 
quote them. The standards say depictions of violence may not be 
used to shock or stimulate the audience. These standards state 
that "scenes showing excessive gore, pain, or physical suffering are 
not acceptable." Ana the standards state that gratuitous or excess 
depictions of violence are not acceptable. 

I mean, these are just words without any meaning. There is no 
application of these standards. 

Now, either the industry has a different meaning of the words 
or they just want to ignore them. 

Now, I am not sure, Mr. Chairman, whose proposal is best. Be- 
cause we are all sensitive to the first amendment. But we do regu- 
late the airwaves. We license these stations. And there must be 
some method by which we can establish a standard that is held up 
to public accountability. 

I think Senator Dorgan's concept is one that is perhaps the most 
acceptable in the context of the first amendment. I would suggest 
that we ought to be hauling some of these executives in here, and 
we ought to play some of the footage on television on a monitor in 
here, and then we ought to ask them why, as the chief executive 
officer or chairman of the board of directors, they are sponsoring 
and spending millions of dollars for this trash. 



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And we ought to do a stronger role of accountability as well. But 
it is clear to all of us that television has to be part of the response, 

iust as we have to be a better part of the response. And it is my 
lope that in the next week, with the crime bill, we will do our part 
to do that. And it is my hope that out of this the industry will do 
a better job of making those words more meaningful. 
Thank you. 
The Chairman. Good. Senator Gorton. 

OPENING STATEMENT OP SENATOR GORTON 

Senator Gorton. Mr. Chairman, it seems to me that in the 
course of this hearing and the days which follow it we will have 
three or perhaps four distinct questions to answer as policymakers. 
The first, obviously, is to deal with the relationship between vio- 
lence on television and violence in our society. 

In some respects, the debate over this issue seems to me to bear 
a strong resemblance to the artificiality of the debate over whether 
or not cigarettes are bad for one's health. It still seems possible for 
those with a vested interest in the question to come up with stud- 
ies that show no relationship between violence on television. But 
the overwhelming weight of the evidence is that relationship is 
very clear and very serious. 

Simply, perhaps, on a parochial basis, I note in our memorandum 
a study by a psychiatrist from the University of Washington who, 
dealing with isolated areas in South Afi*ica and in Canada, without 
television, set up a matrix as to how long after violence on tele- 
vision was available to viewers it took before there was a major 
change in the way in which people related to one another. His con- 
clusion is that 10,000 murders a year in the United States are due 
to violence on television. 

That may be at the extreme end of those studies, but it is cer- 
tainly a shocking and a sobering statistic. 

In any event, assuming that we, as Members of the U.S. Senate, 
reach the conclusion that there is a significant relationship be- 
tween violence and television, we approach the second, and I sus- 
pect in many ways the most difficult of those questions. And that 
is what are the constitutional parameters surrounding any actions 
that we may take? 

We can, of course, work with the television networks, with the 
independents, with the cable producers and the like, toward some 
kind of voluntary rules in this respect. And as a result of Senator 
Simon's successml bill of a couple of years ago, there has been at 
least modest progress in that direction and it should not be ig- 
nored. 

But, as policysetters, we do have to determine, I think, whether 
ir not we have a role, whether the Constitution grants us a role 
" »aling with the question of the seriousness which each person 
has described eloquently. I particularly was impressed with 
Senator Kerry had to say on the subject. 

hen, to the extent that we find that there is some area 
""hich we can operate, consistent with the Constitution, 
s of legislation are likely to be effective at all, or most 
that matter? 




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These are difficult questions, each of these four. They are very, 
very difficult ones. But the nature of the problem is so overwhelm- 
ing that it seems to me that it is our duty, very carefully and very 
soberly, to examine them, and to see whether or not we can make 
a contribution to a reduction of violence in the country as a whole. 
Dealine with television, of course, is only a means to that end. But 
if we, by acting constitutionally in this field, can significantlv re- 
duce violence in the Nation as a whole, we will have provicied a 
service for our constituents as ereat as any which this distin- 
guished committee has ever proviaed. 

The Chairman. Very good. Senator Hutchison. 

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR HUTCfflSON 

Senator Hutchison. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I just want to reiterate what my colleagues have said. I am here 
because I think we have a huge problem in this country with vio- 
lence against women, violence against children, violence in general 
in our television, in our movies, and I would like to do something 
about it. 

I do not know what is right. I mean, obviously we have first 
amendment rights that must be protected, but I hope that because 
we are having this hearing and asking for advice, asking for expert 
testimony, that we will find a way to do something that requires 
it. 

But in the event that we do not, that we cannot find that path 
that will make the requirements that will make a difference, I do 
hope that the people in the industry will hear what we are saying, 
hear what the American people are saying, and take steps volun- 
tarily to curb the violence that clearly is affecting what our chil- 
dren grow up thinking is normal behavior, or fun behavior, or ex- 
citing behavior. 

If they will do it voluntarily, that would be the best of all worlds, 
and I would just urge our movie industry, our television industry, 
to seriously look at this issue and try to do something about it im- 
mediatelv without our intervention. 

I thank you for holding the hearings. I thank you for saying that 
this is such an important effort that we make in the U.S. Senate, 
and I hope that good comes from it. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Thank you. Senator Pressler. 

OPENE^G STATEMENT OP SENATOR PRESSLER 

Senator Pressler. Mr. Chairman, I shall place my prepared 
statement in the record. I also would add that there is a respon- 
sibility to show real life as it is on TV. I certainly am not for vio- 
lence on TV. I would like to see less of it, but I suppose the people 
who make these programs have some responsibility to show Amer- 
ican life as it is. Parents also have responsibilities. Blame cannot 
be passed to someone else in all cases. 

Also, I would sa^ that we all vote every time we go to a movie. 
It seems the movies that are most violent have the most people 
going to them. There is individual responsibility taken when some- 
one patronizes those movies that do not have so much violence. 
There is individual responsibility to be taken by parents. We can 



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all point fingers of blame at somebody else, but we vote with our 
feet every time we go to a movie. We vote every time we turn on 
a TV channel or make a choice. 

I hope that this point of view also is considered. Individual re- 
sponsibility in this country can address this problem. I ask unani- 
mous consent to place the rest of my statement in the record. 

[The prepared statement of Senator Pressler follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Senator Pressler 

Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding today's hearings on an extremely important 
issue: violence on television. Concern with violence on television has escalated with 
this nation's increasing crime rate. In 1992, 1.9 million violent crimes were reported 
to law enforcement omcials — a rate of 758 incidents for every 100,000 U.S. mhab- 
itants. The murder rate in 1992 was nine per 100,000 inhabitants, quadruple Eu- 
rope's rate and 11 times that of Japan. The most sensational crimes are likely to 
be dramatized and replayed in living rooms and movie theaters across this country. 

It seems inevitable that we would try to search for an explanation for violence 
in our society by examining our culture. Of all the wondrous inventions of the twen- 
tieth century, television is undoubtedly the most pervasive, reaching deep into the 
lives of its viewers. More homes in America have televisions than have indoor 
plumbing. The average American household watches television nearly eight and one- 
half hours per day. About half of all children age six and over have a television set 
in their bedrooms. Few will deny the impact TV has on all of our lives, especially 
on our children. More than a generation of Americans have grown up with TV as 
their friend, teacher, and surrogate parent. Its power to influence behavior, positive 
or negative, must be explored. 

It is true that many programs entertain and inform us without resorting to gratu- 
itous violence. But all too often, violence is the method by which messa^s are 
made. Daily we are barraged with portrayals of violence disguised as solutions to 
the dilemmas faced bv television characters. How many times do programs end with 
characters shooting their way out of a situation? All of us watch sucn shows far too 
casually at night, then are shocked to read in the morning about the unbelievable 
crimes committed throughout the country. 

Is there a connection? Decades of study have convinced a wide variety of research- 
ers that watching violent programming is linked to aggressive attitudes and behav- 
ior. Public opinion polls indicate many Americans share this view. The television in- 
dustry has taken a number of steps to limit depictions of gratuitous or excessive 
violence. Are these voluntary eflbrts enough? I don't know. But the potential impact 
of programminff on the minds of impressionable young children require us to seek 
answers and solutions to this perplexing question. 

Mr. Chairman, as the Committee struggles with this issue, 1 urge all my col- 
leagues to evaluate proposed regulatory solutions in todav's multimedia market- 
place. A number of le^slative proposals have been drailed carefully to avoid-con- 
stitutional problems. However, they generally rely on the Federal Communication 
Commission's authority to resulate broadcasUng — and to a lesser degree, cable tele- 
vision. Every day we near aoout another multi-billion dollar merger promising to 
bring hundreds of television channels over the information superhighway. The most 
recent is Bell Atlantic's proposed $33 billion acquisition of Tul. Given the prolifera- 
tion of media outlets, regulation could burden some segments of the industry and 
do little or nothing to change the overall media landscape and the exposure of vio- 
lence to young Americans. 

The Chairman. Senator Danforth. 

Senator Danforth. Mr. Chairman, Senator McCain had in- 
tended to be here this morning, but he has a conflict. He is 
chairing the Indian Affairs Committee, and I ask that his state- 
ment be incorporated in the record. 

The Chairman. It will be so included. 

[The prepared statement of Senator McCain follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Senator McCain 

Mr. Chairman, I am very pleased that the Committee is holding hearings at this 
time on this important subject. 



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Recent events reported by the media— the unfortunate fire in Ohio which nmM 
in the death of one child and copycat acts from the movie The Program — have U^ 
lighted the potential effect the media has on our youth. Something must be dat; 
and it must be done before we read of yet more tragedy. 

We live in the television age. The impact of television on our society cannot k 
underestimated. 

As the father of four small children, I am keenly aware of the lade of quali^ f» 
gramming on television and the abundance of violent programming. To be UDdi, 
Mr. Chairman, there is precious little for my children to watc^ on televisian. TUi 
is very disturbing. 

The networks and many independent television stations have made strides to obA 
the violence on TV. Their extensive, voluntary use of parental notificatk>n8 uH 
waminRs are a good first step in the ri^t direction. I applaud their efforts. 

But, Mr. Chairman, if television networks do nothing, or in any way discount Ae 
seriousness of this issue, the American public will demand the Congress act, aid 
it is my prediction that the congress will act, and that it will act swiftlv and deci- 
sively. If the networks do not voluntarily improve programming and reouce acts of 
violence on T.V., the Congress will mandate what you can and cannot show. 

I also want to take this opportunity to point out that none of the legislation befiie 
the Committee at this time fully addresses the issue of programming on cable. Cable 
television programming must be included in any action tnis Committee takes and 
I intend to ensure that cable television be a focus of this Committee. 

Mr. Chairman, additionally, I have grave concerns regarding the Constitutionalitjr 
of the bills before the Committee at this time. I strongly object to Congressionu 
micromanagement and regulation of TV pron*amming. In my opinion, it is unconsti- 
tutional and violates the first amendment. 1 would hope that the Committee would 
be very cognizant of constitutional concerns as it debates this issue. 

I want to remind my colleagues and members of the broadcast industry again, if 
decisive action is not taken to address this issue, then the public will corre<^^ oom- 
pel the Con^ss to act. It has been reported that former Federal CommunicatioDi 
Chairman Richard Wiley told network executives: "You will come up with something 
voluntary, or well make you." This hearing is the bennning^. Unless television pro- 
grammers heed the public's desire that TV violence oe curbed, the steamroUer of 
regulatory legislation will not be far behind. 

Again, I thank the Chairman for holding this hearing at this time and I look for- 
ward to hearing from today's witnesses. 

The Chairman. We have some very important colleagues, par- 
ticularly Senator Simon, who has been leading the way on this 
score. Let me recognize them in their order of appearance, and as 
you can see with over a dozen witnesses, we will ask you to limit 
yourselves, if you will. Your full statements will be included. Sen- 
ator Durenberger. 

STATEMENT OP HON. DAVE DURENBERGER, U.S. SENATOR 
FROM MINNESOTA 

Senator Durenberger. Chairman Rollings and Senator Dan- 
forth, members of the committee, I want to thank you for holding 
this hearing and for asking me to testify today. This committee 
must be commended for continuing to press ahead to address this 
very real problem. 

You are the leaders. We are just here to heln you and to indicate 
our responsiveness to the leadership that you nave shown over the 
years. Mr. Chairman, you are recognized for your leadership in this 
area, and I thank you for laying out the chronology of the TV vio- 
lence issue earlier m the hearing. 

Everyone is right in saying tnat it was 40 years ago that Con- 
gress held its first hearing on television violence. It was 20 years 
ago that the Surgeon General of the United States issued a report 
warning of the impact that TV violence has on our society. 

This past summer, the networks and some cable operators finallv 
acknowledged that TV violence does affect viewers, especially chil- 



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dren, and so we are grateful for that belated recognition. I am also 
■'grateful that some in the industry voluntarily placed warning la- 
?| Dels on violent programming. But I am here because, as you, I be- 
lieve that much more needs to be done, and I believe the time for 
■> action is now. 

, The bill that I introduced earlier this year, the Children's Tele- 
pi vision Violence Protection Act, S. 943, would require the television 
ik industry to notify viewers, through TV guides and on-screen warn- 
ing labels, that certain programming may contain violence or un- 
I safe gun practices and may adversely affect the mental or physical 
i healtn of their children. 

A As our colleagues, Senator Danforth and Senator Keriy reminded 
' us earlier, we are not really sure of the Government's role here. We 
I cannot hold a broadcast industry solely responsible for creating the 
problem. As consumers, as purchasers, and as parents, and as com- 
I munity leaders, we are all, in part, responsible for this situation. 
Unlike other bills before this committee, the Children's TV Vio- 
lence Protection Act is aimed to try to get everyone to take some 
share of the responsibility. It is not intended to rid the airwaves 
of violent programming, nor to dictate to the TV industry that cer- 
tain types of programming should not be made or shown during 
certain times. It does not empower the Federal Government to 
scrutinize program content or to establish a Government-run na- 
tional ratines system. 

Instead, by providing the information necessary to make in- 
formed decisions, my bill empowers parents and other responsible 
persons to make responsible choices about the programming that 
children are watching. It puts the power to make responsible 
choices where it belongs — ^in the home. 

Under President Clinton's leadership, we have just begun a 
major overhaul of our Nation's health care system. Later this week 
or next, we will consider a multimillion dollar crime bill designed 
in large part to address the growing plague of violence gripping our 
Nation. But there is no provision in the crime bill, nor in any of 
the health care reform packages, that deals directly with televised 
violence. Yet nearly everyone who has spoken today, and everyone 
who has spoken to each of us among our constituencies, tells us 
that violence is the No. 1 public health problem in America today. 
Someone earlier mentioned — our colleague. Senator Mo3mihan — 
how he began to warn us of the social condition of the country in 
1965. Yesterday in the Senate Finance Committee, Dr. Louis Sulli- 
van and others talked to us about the problems that social condi- 
tions in America contribute to the cost of health and medical care. 
In effect, they said, we could provide health insurance for every- 
body in America, but if we do not deal with the kinds of problems 
that each of you has spoken to this morning, we do not solve the 
Nation's health problems; 

In 1990, we passed legislation granting the cable and broadcast 
industries an antitrust exemption so that they could work together 
to combat TV violence, and the man most responsible for uiat, I 
guess, is on my right— Senator Simon. I respect the tireless efforts 
of my friend and colleague, Paul Simon, in engineering passage of 
that legislation, but after 3 full years, the only thing tne television 



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industry has to show is an ad hoc voluntaiy labeling system,! 
hi^-profile, hig^-gloss, hand-holding session in Los A geles. L . 

As my colIeafi[ue from Montana says, let us give some responsU- 1 \ 
ity to the broadcasters and the pro^n^mmers. I think we have, anl I i 
I think the evidence is that there is little or no progress on a iral- 1 
untary rating system. There has been little or no progress o& 1 1 ] 
self-assessment system. There has been little or no progress towvi [ 
actually reducing the amount of violence shown on TV. There is n 
evidence that the industry has taken affirmative steps to show peo- 1 
pie dealing with their anger and frustrations on TV in a consbnu- { 
tive, rather than a violent and a destructive, manner. Mr. Chur- 
man, the industry has had 3 years. 

The problem largely is that there are no rewards for voluntary [ 
responsibility in a competitive system like the industiy is today. 
My colleague from North Dakota said it well. The only way to 
break a bad habit is to establish a good one. The time for taSk is 
over. This is the time for action. 

I have never said that television is the only cause of violence in 
our society, nor has anyone here, but television is a cause, and tiiat 
fact is now indisputable. TV has contributed and continues to con- 
tribute to the real violence in American society in a very real wiy, 
and I am here to help you, Mr. Chairman, and every one of you 
who has the responsibility for leading us toward a solution to the 
problem to fashion legislation that builds a partnership with par- 
ents and with the industry and deals with this problem eflfectively. 

Thank you for the opportunity to be here. 

[The prepared statement of Senator Durenberger follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Senator Durenberger 

Chairman Hollings, Senator Danforth, members of the committee — I want to 
thank you for holding this important hearing and for asking me to testily before you 
today. This conmiittee should be commended for continuing to press edhead to ad- 
dress the very real problem of television violence. 

Mr. Chairman, 40 years ago Congress held its first hearing on television violence. 
Twenty years ago, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a report warning of the impact 
of TV violence has on our societv. This past summer, the networks and some cable 
operators finally acknowledged that TV does afTect viewers, and especially children. 

I am grateful for that belated recognition. I am also grateful that some of the in- 
dustry voluntarily placed warning labels on violent programming. 

But I believe that much more needs to be done. 

And 1 believe that the time for action is now. 

The bill I introduced earlier this year, the Children's Television Violence Protec- 
tion Act, S. 943, would require the television industry to notify viewers — throu^ 
TV guides and on-screen warning labels — that certain programming may contain vi- 
olence or unsafe gun practices, and may adversely aflect the mental or physical 
health of their children. 

Unlike other bills before this committee, the Children's TV Violence Protection act 
is not intended to rid the airwaves of violent programming, nor to dictate to the TV 
industry that certain types of programming should not be made or shown during 
certain times. It does not empower the Federal Government to scrutinize program 
content or to establish a Government-run national rating system. 

Instead, by providing the information necessaiy to make informed decisions, my 
bill empowers parents to make responsible choices about the programming they 
want tJiieir kids to watdi. 

It puts the power to make responsible choices where it belongs— in the home. 

Under President Clinton's leadership, we have just begun a major overhaul of our 
Nation's health care system. Later this week, or next, we will consider a multibillion 
dollar crime bill designed in lai^e part to address the growing plague of violence 
gripping our Nation. 



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There is no provision in the crime bill, nor in any of the health care reform pack- 
ages, that deals directly with televised violence. 

Yet neariv everyone Fve spoken with tells me that violence is the No. 1 public 
health problem in America today. Two days ago, Dr. Louis Sullivan said so again 
in his testimony during the Finance Committee's hearing on "social choices and 
medical consequences." 

As so often pointed out by our colleague, Senator Mo^ihan, the violence that sur- 
rounds us — including TV violence — has contributed to mcreased violence in our soci- 
ety. 

In 19910, we passed legislation granting the cable and broadcast industries an 
antitrust exemption so they could work together to combat TV violence. 

I respect the tireless eflbrts of my friend and colleague Paul Simon in engineering 
passage of that legislation. 

But after 3 fulTvears, the only thins the television industiy has to show is an 
ad hoc voluntaiy labeling system and a nigh-profile, high -gloss hand-holding session 
in Los Angeles. 

There has been little or no progress on a voluntary rating system. 

There has been little or no progress on a self-assessment system. 

There has been little or no progress toward actually reducing the amount of vio- 
lence shown on TV. 

There is absolutely no evidence that the television industry has taken aflirmative 
steps to show people dealing with their anger and frostrations on TV in a construc- 
tive, rather than a violent and destroctive, manner. 

Three years! And we all thought that Congress took a long time to act. 

The time for talk is over. Now is the time for action. 

I have never said that television is the only cause of violence in our society. But 
television is a cause. That fact is now indisputable. It has contributed, and contin- 
ues to contribute, to the real violence in American society in a very real way. 

I look forward to working with vou, Mr. Chairman, and the members of this com- 
mittee to fashion legislation that builds a partnership with parents, and deals with 
this problem eflectively. 

Thank you. 

The Chairman. Thank you, Senator. Senator Levin. 

STATEMENT OP HON. CARL LEVIN, U.S. SENATOR FROM 

MICHIGAN 

Senator Levin. Mr. Chairman, thank you and the members of 
the committee for inviting us to testify. I particularly want to 
thank Senator Simon also for his leadership and continuing efforts 
which have borne some fruit so far, but I want to focus on one nar- 
row aspect of this problem, and that is the subject matter of my 
legislation, which is Senate bill 1556. 

The narrow aspect that I focus on is violent promotional spots 
and commercials that are shown at inappropriate times, particu- 
larly during family viewing hours. Now, a number of you have 
maae reference to choice and parental responsibility, and I think 
there is some parental responsibility and there should be some 
choice, and believe it or not, there are millions of parents out there 
who exercise that choice and try to prevent their children from see- 
ing violent shows — not enough parents yet, but there are millions 
of parents who want to exercise that responsibility and that choice. 

The problem is parents turn on the Cosby Show, that is all right, 
but then in the middle of that show is a violent promotion for an- 
other show, or a violent commercial, and as hard as they try to con- 
trol the violence that their children see, they are caught unawares. 
They are firustrated when suddenly that type of promotion or com- 
mercial appears during family viewing hours. 

Let me give you a couple of examples. An add for the movie, *The 
Mobsters, appears during the Cosby Show. This depicts a man 
begging tor his life from a man who is pointing a gun at him and 



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then the man is killed in cold blood. During Sunday afternoon fam- 
ily hours, there is a commercial which describes a TV program 
which is going to have the following: a teacher seducing her pupil, 
getting her pupil to kill her husband, and one part of that promo 
shows a terror-stricken man with a large knife at his throat beg- 
ging for his life. 

Now, these are not subtle ads. These are graphic, violent ads in 
the middle of a family show. I want to give parents that choice, too. 
I want to empower parents, too, but if a parent tries hard to control 
what a child sees and then is unexpectedly confronted with this, 
you cannot turn that commercial oflF. You cannot move that fast. 

Now, the industry has adopted some standards. The enforcement 
mechanism for those standards are viewers' complaints at the mo- 
ment. That is all we have got to enforce it. really, are viewers' com- 
plaints, unless the industry is going to police itself, which it surely 
has not done. 

In order for a viewer to complain effectively they have got to 
have a copy of the violent promotion, or the commercial to complain 
about. They need the evidence. They have got to be able to show 
it to a network, to us, to their station. We have instances where 
people have tried to get copies of the commercial to complain about, 
but because there is no requirement that the stations maintain 
those commercials, parents are frustrated in their eflForts if they 
want to complain about a violation of those standards. 

Now, this is a small part of a big problem, but it is a part which 
is clearly constitutional. I believe my proposal has no first amend- 
ment problems whatsoever. It simply would require stations to 
maintain for 30 days commercials and promotions for programming 
so that if someone wants to come in and pay a small fee to get a 
copy, they can complain to the FCC or complain to the station or 
complain to the network and they will have the evidence to do so. 

This is a CTowing problem. The U.S. News and World Report has 
an article about violent commercials and promotions. I would ask, 
Mr. Chairman, that a copy of that article from U.S. News be in- 
serted in the record. 

The Chairman. That will be included. 

Senator Levin. Finally, Mr. Chairman, I think all of us recognize 
the complexity of this issue. I am sickened, as all of us are, by the 
amount of violence on television. I believe there is a relationship 
to violence in our society. That is my own belief, and I would like 
to do as much as we can constitutionally to control it. 

But whether or not my belief is the majority belief or not, or 
whether or not we can constitutionally restrict as much as we like, 
surely we can empower parents who make the eflFort to control the 
amount of violence that their children see, to give them evidence 
of unexpected violent commercials and promotional spots so that 
they can complain with the evidence in hand. 

Again a small part, surely not a silver bullet, but at least a sign 
that we are going to help parents to exercise the kind of parental 
responsibility that all of us want to encourage. 

In a bill I introduced about a year ago, I tried to get the net- 
works and the stations to do this voluntarily. They have so far re- 
fused. FCC has not even answered our letters on this, because they 
could do this by regulation if they chose to do so. 



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We are going to keep pressing for an answer from the FCC, be- 
cause they could do it, again, by regulation. In the meantime, I 
think this is a small step out an important step that we can take 
to empower parents who want to control the level of violence that 
their children see. 

I thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

[The prepared statement of Senator Levin follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Senator Levin 

I appreciate the opportunity to testify at this hearing on television violence, in 
particular regarding my legislation to give parents and viewers offended by violent 
television commercials a oetter opportunity to register their complaints. I am 
pleased to appear with my colleagues who, using different approaches, are active in 
the eflbrt to curb the level of violence brought into our homes through television. 
I am especially pleased that Attorney General Reno is also testifying today. Her 
opinion and insist on this important issue will be very useful. 

Excessive violence in all facets of the entertainment industry is a deeply disturb- 
ing trend. Violence in television projn*amming is particularly troubling, because tele- 
vision is so accessible to children. Tnere is no other medium that is such a constant 
presence in our homes. As such, it is particularly important that it be used respon- 
sibly. However we all know that that is not the case. The current trend in program* 
ming is to maximize violence, and the promotional spots that advertise those pro- 
grams and movies use that violence as a key inducement. 

Recent studies by respected organizations have confirmed what most of us have 
instinctively known — ^that watching the grapliic depiction of violence on television 
and in our movie theaters can increase the violence in ourselves and desensitize us 
to the consequences of violence. This is especially troubling with respect to television 
because of the number of children who watch it. Adults can choose their program- 
ming and hopefully have the mental capability to distinguish between fantasy and 
real life. But children who get cauffht up in these programs and the advertisements 
that promote them are not as capable and are vulnerable to the strong impressions 
the violence creates. 

My legislation, S. 1556, focuses on an area which I And particularly troubling and 
that is the use of violent promotional spots and commercials shown at inappropriate 
times — specifically during family programming or those shows oriented to children's 
viewing. Try as parents may to control the shows their children watch, it is almost 
impossible for them to control the commercials that their children watch during oth- 
erwise acceptable programs. These violent commercials can defeat a parent's best 
intentions to protect their children from violent scenes. A parent can prevent a child 
from watching a TV show which is known to be violent; however, when a violent 
or offensive commercial is tucked into an otherwise non-violent, familv-oriented 
show there is no prior warning and the entire commercial can be aired before a par- 
ent has time to react. Foisting these ads into the midst of otherwise ''safe" programs 
shows a lack of respect for and sensitivity to the efforts of parents to shiela their 
children from violence. 

Let me give you two examples of these ads. An ad for the movie, "The Mobsters" 
shown during "The Cosby Snow" depicted a man begging for his life from a man 
pointing a gun at him and then being killed in cold blood. Another ad, aired during 
a Sunday ailemoon sports event, showed and described a teacher seducing her pupu 
and getting him to kill her husband. One scene showed a terror-stricken man with 
a large knife at his throat, begging for his life. As you can see, these ads are not 
subtle in their portrayal of violence; these are ads that contain graphic, violent acts. 

The troubling nature of these ads is fi»ining increasing attention. The February 
1, 1993 issue of U.S. News and World Reports had a feature article on the issue 
of inappropriate ads. As the basis for the article, the staff of U.S. News, assisted 
by researcners who study violence on television, did an informal survey of 50 hours 
of television programming to gain a sense of the frequency of violent TV ads. The 
staff and researchers identified a dozen ads that were "questionable", the majority 
of which were aired during the late afternoon and early evening — prime viewing 
hours for children. 

I began my efforts to address this issue in October of 1991. I first wrote to the 
TV network and cable station executives and appealed to them to keep violent com- 
mercieds out of family programming. Several months later. Senator Simon joined me 
in introducing a Sense of the Senate Resolution urging cable and television net- 
works and local television stations to establish and Tollow voluntary guidelines to 



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keep oonmiercials depicting acts or threats of violence out of family programming 
hours. That Sense of the Senate Resolution was adopted hy a voice vote on Januaiy 
30.1992. 

In December 1992, the networks issued vohintaiy guidelines for the depictk>n of 
violence in TV programs, and two of those guidelines qiecifically address the issue 
of violent commercials. 

Standard No. 11 states, Tlealistic portrayals of violence as well as scenes, ima^ 
or events whidi are unduly fri^temng or distressing to diildren should not be m- 
chided in any orogram specifically desimed for that audience.* 

Standard No. 14 states, The scheduling of any program, commercial or pro- 
motional material including those containing violent depictions, should take into 
consideration the nature of the program, its content and the likely c9mposition of 
the intended audience.* 

Tliese standards wiU be meaningless, however, if broadcasters do not foUow them, 
and it is the viewers who must hold the broadcasters accountable. One way to ac- 
complish this is for viewers to make their voices heard by filing specific complaints 
with their local stations and/or the networks regarding programming of violent com- 
mercials or promotional material during family vievring noure. 

That sounds simple enou^, but it is not an easy task as mv own staff found out 
earlier this year, when they contacted a national network and local station to obtain 
a oopyof a violent commercial which they had seen, they came up against a bride 
wall. They were simply unable to get it. Neither the national network nor the local 
station had a copy of the commercial. Each referred my staff to the other. Yet ob- 
taining a copy of the commercial is key to demonstrating such a commercial 
shoulon't have been run in the first place. In order to demonstrate and effectively 
complain about the inappropriateness of a commercial, it is important to show the 
network or station the actual commercial the complaint is about. But currently, TV 
stations and networks are under no obligation to make available copies of program 
promotions and commercials to the public. In effect, then, the viewers' are denied 
the evidence upon which to base a complaint. 

The legislation I have introduced directs the FCC to require local stations, net- 
woiks and cable operators to maintain commercial promotional spots for at least 30 
days after they have been aired and to require that such materials be available for 
a reasonable fee. My proposal also requires that local stations, networks and cable 
operators maintain a record of the complaints they receive regarding violent com- 
mercial programming and make that information available to the public. The expec- 
tation is, ofcourse, tnat increased attention to violent commercial programming will 
persuade broadcasters to take their promises and this issue seriously- 

The role of the government in overseeing the content of television programminff 
is restricted and necessarily will remain so. Trying to restrict violence on Tv 
through the federal government, raises constitutional issues. But those concerns are 
not present when the mechanism for moderation is the public itself, throu^ it's di- 
rect response to the broadcasters. That's what this legislation is designed to facili- 
tate. It makes it possible for the people to protest one Taoet of the violence that per- 
meates the airwaves. 

The Chairman. Thank you. Senator Simon. 

STATEMENT OF HON. PAUL SIMON, U.S. SENATOR FROM 

ILLINOIS 

Senator Simon. I thank you, Mr. Chairman. I thank you particu- 
larly for holding the hearings in this committee where you have the 
ability to do something about this problem, and I want to commend 
not only you for what you have done, but Senator Dorgan for his 
legislation and Senator Durenberger and Senator Levin. 

I got into this thing very accidentally, as I guess we get into a 
lot of things. I checked into a motel one night in La Salle County, 
IL, turned on my television set, and all of a sudden I saw someone 
being sawed in half by a chain saw. Now, I am old enough to know 
it is not real, but it bothered me that night, and I thought to my- 
self, what happens to a 10-year-old who watches this? 

So, the next day, I called my office and I said, 'There has to be 
some research somewhere about what is happening," and then I 
found out, as Senator Durenberger has mentioned, the Surgeon 



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General has twice warned us this is a problem. The National Insti- 
tute of Mental Health has warned us this is a problem. But not 
surprisingly, we have not read and seen about that on those tele- 
vision programs that broadcast the news, warning us on cigarettes 
and other things. 

The research is just overwhelming. There is no question about 
the fact that entertainment television violence adds to violence in 
our society. Oh, there are still some in the industry who deny it, 
just like uiere are some in the cigarette industry who deny it in 
that field, but there is no question. 

Let me just give you two examples of what is wrong. There is a 
widely known children's program that all of you have heard about. 
I do not mention specific programs for obvious reasons. It is pro- 
duced in two versions. One is the violent version for here in the 
United States, and the other is the nonviolent version for all the 
other countries in the world. 

When a spokesperson for the producers was asked by the Chris- 
tian Science Monitor, "How come," she said "Well, in the United 
States we expect violence in our children's programming and we do 
not get any complaints, but we could not sell it in other countries." 
Something is wrong when that is the situation. 

Well, let me g^ve you another example, because I hear from some 
of those who are opposed in the movie industry. They say, "Why 
do you not get the real problem, g^s and other things?" No one 
suggests this is the sole cause of violence in our society, but you 
may have read about the person in San Francisco who took a weap- 
on, a semiautomatic pistol called a Tech-9, and killed eight people 
and wounded six. The New York Times questioned the manufac- 
turer, who is in Miami, and he said, "We just were not selling those 
weapons until a television series used that weapon, and then our 
sales shot up." 

No Question that television has had an impact on the prolifera- 
tion of weapons. What the research shows is that — children par- 
ticularly, but it affects adults, too— we accept violence as a way of 
answering problems, and we learn another thing, that violence 
gives us pleasure. 

When children, as well as the President of the United States, say 
"Make my day," what are they saying? They are saying, give me 
the excuse to provide a violent answer, and I am going to have 
pleasure providing that violent answer. 

I slightly disagree with my friend Senator Kerry in his eloquent 
statement, 99 percent of which I agree with. There is too much vio- 
lence on news television, but there is a difference. When you see 
the violence from Bosnia, it does not glamorize violence. When you 
have 25 minutes of entertainment television, it is glamorized. 

It is what one researcher calls, happy violence. You never see a 
mother or some relative crying. You do not see the pain and the 
anguish. We are just getting the wrong thing. We are selling soap 
through television, we are selling cars through television, and we 
are selling violence through television. 

The industry — and here I have to say particularly the broadcast 
side, cable has been more of a problem — the industry has made 
some steps forward. The standards that you mentioned. Senator 
Kerry, are frankly more nebulous than I would like. The British 



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standards, if you compare them, are much more rigorous. But at 
least thev have adopted standards finally. 

The advisory is more significant than it at first appears because 
advertisers do not like to go to a program that has the advisory. 
That is the strength of your suggestion, Senator Dorgan. 

What I would like to see, because ideally the industry should an- 
swer this themselves rather than through legislation, what I woidd 
like to see is for us to say we are not going to do anything: we are 
not goine to markup any bills until January 1. We would like to 
see you ao something. And the most significant thing they have to 
do, in my opinion, is to set up some kind of a monitoring group. 
And it has to be respectable. 

It has to be headed by somebody like Walter Cronkite or John 
Chancellor or Newton Minow or someone who is respected. And 
then, once a year or once every 6 months, we get a report tiiat says 
this is what is happening on ABC, CBS, NBC, Showtime, and 
HBO. 

This fall, to the credit of the broadcast industry, we have much 
less violence— or less violence — I do not want to say much less vio- 
lence, but less violence than we have had in the past. Some people 
believe it may be less violence than we have nad for about 25 
years. 

But, if next year a violent show gets good ratings, the industiy 
is just going to be heading down that road. We need something 
that lets the public know what is happening, not only what Uiey 
are doing, but what is happening in the chiloren's period and what 
is happening in other areas. 

Senator Pressler, I am sorry he is not here, when you say par- 
ents should take some responsibility, yes, they should, but it is 
very, very tough. Most homes have more than one television set. 
And then, what do you do when Johnny and Jane come and say, 
"Can we go next door and play at the neighbors?" You are going 
to be pretty tough parents if you say no, you cannot go next door 
and play at the neighbors. It is pretty hard to monitor what the 
neighbors do. 

And what about all the homes, particularly in central city areas 
with high crime rates, where you have sinele-parent families, 
where they are just struggling to get by, and that television set is 
a babysitter? And studies show that in those homes, television is 
watched 3 hours more per day than in other homes. 

I think we have a major problem. I want to give the industry 
more of a chance to solve this. But if by January 1 they do not 
come up with some solid answers, then I think some of us have to 
get together and say what steps do we take. 

The Chairman. Very gooa. Senator Simon. Thank you very 
much. 

Senator Lott, did you have a statement? 

Senator Lott. Since the Attorney General is waiting to be heard, 
I will allow her to go ahead. 

The Chairman. Well, they tell me, and we have been checking 
it closely, we are going to have a vote here in 3 minutes or 2 min- 
utes, at 10:35, and I have tried that before, some of us hold the fort 
and the testimony goes on. But I think, with the Attorney General, 
what we ought to oo is recede here for a few minutes, go down ana 



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vote qiiickly, then everybody come back, and then we will present 
the Attorney General. 

The committee will be at ease. 

[A brief recess was taken.] 

The Chairman. After two tries at Attorney General, when Presi- 
dent Clinton appointed Attorney General Janet Reno, I said, '"Who 
is that?" I called a friend down in Miami who was a classmate of 
mine — a big Republican incidentally and the chairman of the board 
of the largest publishing company in the country just £j30ut, 
Knight-Ridder. And I said, "Albert, tell me about Janet Reno." 

And he said without hesitation, he said, "She is the best. She 
commands a law enforcement contingent of about 500. She is on 
the streets. She is in the courts. She is working with the commu- 
nity and civic organizations. She is very sensitive. She understands 
more than any m the business the causes of crime and wants to 
do something about it, and you cannot find any better." 

Since I have been over 20-some years at the appropriations level 
for the Attorney General and the Justice Department, I said to my- 
self, happy days. Here we have got someone as an Attorney Gen- 
eral appointed, rather than to protect the President, to protect the 
people. 

So, with that feeling, I have followed with interest Attorney Gen- 
eral Reno's activity here, particularly the other day. General, when 
you appeared before a group of Senators and told of your travels 
over the country and how you had learned that the same things 
that persisted, crime and juvenile problems down in Miami, per- 
sisted in all tne other communities the country over, and how a 
generation of youngsters were coming along not really knowing 
good from evil, right from wrong. 

And I thought at that time, with respect to children, we cannot 
control the grownups, we have got the first amendment. They can 
look at whatever you and I would think to be objectionable as lone 
as they wish. But the courts and the Constitution have all founa 
that children, the sensitive ears, the formative minds, can be con- 
trolled at the congressional level. In the case of obscenity, we have 
done that since 1927. And the idea here is like Senator Simon said 
just a minute ago, here is a committee that can do something. 

They talked about a compelling State interest. Heavens above, 
we have had a continual State interest since 1952, over 40 years, 
but we have not done an3rthing. And I hope in that light, and wel- 
come you before the committee, that you will make comments as 
to whether or not we think we do have a compelling State interest 
and that we ought to act, and of course act constitutionally, with 
the least restrictive means that we possibly can. General Reno. 

STATEMENT OF HON. JANET RENO, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF 
THE UNITED STATES, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE 

Attorney General Reno. Senator, thank you so much for the op- 
portunity to be here with you today. Thank you for your leadership 
on this issue. 

I want to put in a pitch for children. We may be in danger of los- 
ing some children, but the generation of children that are out 
there, who I've seen in my travels across the United States, are, 
for the most part wonderful, conscientious, dedicated kids, who 



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care a lot about their country and their community, and we have 
got to support them. 

I think it is important to understand, too, that there is no one 
single answer to tiie problem of violence. There is no one simple 
answer. There is no one inexpensive answer. It has got to be looked 
at in terms of a comprehensive effort And it is clear to me that 
we have got to have enough prisons to house the truly dangerous 
people for the length of time the judges are sentencing them, both 
m State and Federal courts. 

We have got to have boot camps for youngsters who commit vio- 
lent crimes that give them an opportunity to know that there is no 
excuse for putting a gun up beside somebody's head and hurting 
them. It is not poverty, not broken homes; nothing excuses hurting 
other people, and there is eoing to be punishment. 

But it is also clear, and clear from so much that I have heard 
throughout communities in America, from police as well as every- 
one else, that the time has come to focus on a comprehensive pre- 
vention effort. 

First, we have got to make sure that our parents are old enough, 
wise enough, and financially able enough to take care of their chil- 
dren, that they are taught parenting skills that enable them to be 
responsible parents; and that they have the time to be with their 
children to be responsible parents. 

I think it is clear that many of our problems in relation to vio- 
lence can be traced back to health care problems. I used to look at 
presentence investigations of delinquents who I was prosecuting, 
and you could trace it back to some problem, where tney did not 
get adequate health care. Obviously, we need preventative medical 
care for our children. 

Education is critical. And education in a time that we do not usu- 
ally think of for that child who is unsupervised, in the ages of 
to 3. All the child development experts have reiterated to me time 
and again that to 3 is the most formative time in a person's Iffe, 
and a time when thev develop a conscience. It is going to do little 
good 9 and 10 years from now, unless we raise children in that age 
range right. 

We have got to free our teachers' time to teach by providing full 
service schools that provide support and backup for teachers, to en- 
able others to deal with the social problems that confront teachers 
day in and day out. We have got to have programs in the after- 
noons and in tne evenings. 

In my travels across this country I have talked to former gane 
members and to children that are in detention facilities now, and 
I asked them what could have been done to prevent it. "If you had 
had something for me to do afternoons and in the evenings." And 
that comes back again to the issue of television. 

We have got to focus on truancy prevention. Too often, our police 
officers are picking our children up and taking them back to school. 
The school calls home and nobody responds and the child is sent 
home without further followup. We can do so much if we develop 
teams of community-friendly police officers, social workers, and 
nurses, who find out why that child is not in school. 

We can do so much in terms of reducing violence. I am so pleased 
to see conflict resolution programs in so many schools in this coun- 



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27 

try; programs that teach children how to resolve conflicts peace- 
fully, without resorting to fists or to knives or to guns. And these 
programs are working. 

We have seen drug education and prevention programs work, 
and we can do the same with respect to violence. We have got to 
focus on domestic violence, because that child who sees his fotiier 
beat his mother is going to come to accept violence as a way of life. 
And we have got to intervene not just throu^ the criminal justice 
system, but through hospitals and the medical institutions as well. 

Guns are obviously a problem, and we have got to set guns out 
of our children's hands, and take immediate steps wim regards to 
that effort. 

We have got to understand, however, that television can be a re- 
markable force for good and for bad, in terms of perpetuating vio- 
lence amongst the youth of America. 

We cannot address any of these issues unless we provide a safety 
net in terms of community policing efforts that can provide frame- 
works both in our schools, our public housing developments and on 
the streets of this Nation. And I think it is important that we get 
those police officers to the streets in fashions that communities can 
really use. 

All of this does no good if we cannot train our children with skills 
that enable them to earn a living wage. And we have got to expand 
on the school-to-work effort and do everything we can to make sure 
that our children graduate from schools with a skill that can en- 
able them to earn a living wage. 

But we are here today to talk about television. And I just want 
to again put it in perspective; that we must approach it, if we are 
to succeed, in a comprehensive effort. But where do we stand with 
respect to television and television violence? 

It is easy to forget what a miracle television is, the promise that 
it holds and the remarkable capacity for education that it pos- 
sesses. It has literally changed how we see the world and our place 
in it. An informed electorate is the backbone of our democracy. And 
television news, political debates and other public affairs program- 
ming are a primary source of information for voters and leaders 
alike. 

In its short history, television has also offered outstanding pro- 
gramming in the areas of education, the arts and entertainment. 

But the promise of television largely remains unfulfilled. Too 
much of toaa/s programming neither uplifts nor even reflects our 
national values and standards. Instead of disseminating the best in 
our culture, television too often panders to our lowest common de- 
nominator. 

More than 30 years ago, FCC Commissioner Newton Minow 
called television a wasteland. I wish that I thought there had been 
great improvement since then, but there has not oeen. 

In only one-half a century, television violence has become a 
central tneme to the life of our young people, as central as home- 
work and playgrounds. 

By the end of elementary school, the Journal of the American 
Meaical Association reports that the average American child has 
watched 100,000 acts of violence, including 8,000 murders. By age 



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18, those numbers have jumped to 200,000 acts of violence and 
40,000 murders. 

A 1992 analysis of a typical day of television, commissioned by 
TV Guide, revealed about 10 acts of violence an hour. That means 
that 10 times an hour we expose children to behavior that society 
and the law condemn and prohibit. 

On Saturday mornings, when television programming targets 
children, that total jumps to 20 to 25 violent acts an hour. 

And year after year, a troubling body of evidence has been build- 
ing up, that has been alluded to here this morning by you and the 
Senators that have appeared before you. Aft«r a decade more of re- 
search, the National Institute of Mental Health concluded that the 
great majority of studies linked television violence and real life ag- 
gression. 

And just last year, the American Psychological Association's re- 
view of research was conclusive, saying that the accumulated re- 
search clearly demonstrates the correlation between viewing vio- 
lence and aggressive behavior. 

Mr. Chairman, I am not here as a scientist. I am here as an At- 
torney General who is concerned about the future of America's chil- 
dren, and seeking ways to prevent violence in America. We are just 
fed up with excuses and hedging in the face of this epidemic of vio- 
lence. 

We have heard people say we will do something about it, and 
they have not done something about it. When it comes to these 
studies, I think we have to use our common sense as well. Any par- 
ent can tell you how their children mimic what they see every- 
where, including what they see on television. Studies show children 
literally acting out and imitating what they watch. 

The networks understand this point very well. They rim public 
service announcements to promote socially* constructive behavior. 
They announce that this year's programs feature a reduced amount 
of violence. And they boast of episodes encouraging constructive be- 
havior. In each instance they endorse the notion that television can 
influence people and how they act. 

The link between violent programming and real violence is espe- 
cially ominous for those in society already facing the most turbu- 
lence and strife. Many young Americans struggle to construct a 
value system amid increasingly amoral circumstances. I used to 
say that being a parent was the single most difficult job I know. 
I think maybe being a child in America in certain situations is the 
most difficult job. 

We already know that children from low-income families watch 
an especially large amount of television. When television lacks for 
constructive, value-oriented programming, it already lets them 
down. And many do not have the parental structure to assist them 
with program choices. 

But what is the effect of 10 violent acts an hour on these strug- 
gling children? 

In dangerous neighborhoods, television may be one of the safest 
forms of recreation left for children, unless it is more violent than 
the streets they are afraid to walk on. 




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Indeed, in high crime areas, television violence and real violence 
have become so intertwined that they may well feed on each other. 
If this is true, television is utterly failing us. 

The problem is not just numbers and studies, it is the indiscrimi- 
nate way in which violence is strewn about every portion of tele- 
vision programming. I am not here to condemn documentaries, 
which teaoi us the lessons of war, news programming that seeks 
only to accurately portray the darker side of life, or sporting events 
that help society channel its competitive and aggressive impulses. 
Violence has always been a part of our life, our history, and our 
culture, and television programming in a free society should not 
pretend that it is otherwise. 

But violence has become the salt and pepper of our television 
diet. Fictional shows and movies feature dozens of killings of bad 
guys or innocents. Made for television movies glorify the most sor- 
dia examples of human behavior. The local news opens with pieces 
on violent crimes before proceeding to any other type of story. And 
so-called real life police programs portray the world of law enforce- 
ment as nothing but a violent game between America's police and 
its citizens. 

It is also worth noting that this problem does not end with an 
18th birthday. Repeated exposure to violent programming also 
hurts adults, by heightening our fear and mistrust of the outside 
world, hy convincing us that our epidemic of violence is too intrac- 
table to address, by numbing us to the plight of its victims, or by 
repeatedly showing us how to address the most frustrating prob- 
lems of life with violence. 

I think too often America has become numb to violence because 
it has just been drowned in it day in and day out. 

In the face of these concerns, many people in the television in- 
dustry argue that the solution is simple: the parents should just 
turn the television off. I agree that parental supervision must al- 
ways be the first line of defense. And, indeed, my mother did not 
allow our family to have a television because she said it contrib- 
uted to mind rot. 

But there are too many people, too many children, that do not 
have their parent there; that have their parents struggling to work 
to make ends meet, or a parent that has been too indifferent, and 
we have got to look beyond. 

As I said here earlier, I am not here today to bash the television 
industry, nor am I looking for villains. I believe that television ex- 
ecutives are genuinely concerned about this problem, and I com- 
mend the actions they have taken to address the issue of violent 
programming. It is also clear that some have worked harder to ad- 
dress this issue than others, and I address my remarks to all pro- 
grammers, including those in the cable industry and independent 
stations which air mostly syndicated programming. 

For example, I think the networks acted constructively when the 
Congress passed the Television Program Improvement Act of 1990 
by working together to issue joint standards for the depiction of vi- 
olence in television programming, and the networks showed their 
willingness to confront this issue. 



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And the advance parental advisory system announced this June 
will provide viewers with programming advisories and antiviolence 
promotional announcements. 

I believe tliese are positive steps, however they are extremely 
small steps. They are little itty-bitty steps. For example, the joint 
standards issued in 1992 required no change in network program- 
ming. They essentially restated each network's existing policy. And 
the networks have indicated that the new advisory system would 
have led to few warnings during last year's schedule. Many of tlie 
independent stations and cable networks do not have standards 
and practices divisions. 

What does upset me is when the leaders of powerful institutions 
which bear some responsibility for tlie problem and which have 
such an unlimited opportunity to use this incredible medium for 
good treat any discussion of their role as political persecution, or 
seek to shift all responsibilitv for solutions elsewhere. I am tired 
of the shoulder shrugging and finger pointing. No one ever accused 
television violence itself of being solely responsible for violence in 
America. I believe we all contribute. 

All I am asking today is that the entertainment industry, and 
that includes the movies, the broadcasting networks, cable TV, and 
the independents, acknowledge their role and their responsibiUties, 
and pledge to us to work with us with every tool they have to ad- 
dress this problem, and to do more than make pledges. Start doing 
something about it now in ways that can be subject to clear compli- 
ance. There has been enough bickering. It is time for solutions. 

There are many legislative proposals and much talk about regu- 
lation of the industry to limit violence on television. This is not, in 
my view, the place to begin real and lasting change, but it does 
raise an important point of departure for any discussion of legisla- 
tion and other solutions, that regulation of violence is constitu- 
tionallv permissible and it should be understood. 

In tne case of FCC v. Pacifica, where the court permitted the 
FCC to regulate which hours indecent programming could be aired, 
Justice Stevens wrote the following for the majority. "We have long 
recognized that each medium of expression presents special first 
amendment problems, and of all forms of communication it is 
broadcasting that has received the most limited first amendment 
protection." 

He went on to cite two reasons for this distinction: 

First, the broadcast media have established a uniquely pervasive presence in the 
lives of all Americans. Patently offensive, indecent material presented over the air- 
ways confronts the citizen not only in public but also the privacy of the home where 
the individual's right to be left alone plainly outweighs the first amendment rights 
of an intruder. 

Second, broadcasting is uniquely accessible to children, even those too young to 
read. Other forms of offensive expression may be withheld from the young without 
restricting the expression at its source. 

In view of this breadth, the various Senate bills under consider- 
ation appear to be constitutionally sound under the Pacifica lan- 
guage. I think that the bills also reflect that there is a continuous 
and a compelling State interest in the enactment of these pieces of 
legislation. They go to the heart of the matter. People throughout 
America support doing something about it. 



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Despite this fact and despite the popular support for action to 
curb television violence, I believe that Government intervention is 
not the best option. The best option would be taken outside of Gov- 
ernment by parents, educators, and by the entertainment industry. 

But history shows us, and history was heard this morning show- 
ing us how we have given the entertainment industry chance after 
chance. We have done it again and again. And I think the time has 
come for a very specific proposal to be made by all aspects of the 
industry with immediate deadlines and means of monitoring com- 
pliance, or otherwise I believe that Government will have no alter- 
native but to address these problems through legislation such as 
you have proposed. 

What are the other solutions? For those who produce, distribute, 
and underwrite programming on the networks, cable TV, and the 
independents, I oelieve that the time for business as usual has 
come to an end. It is time for television and the film industry to 
search their souls and realize that it possesses enormous power in 
a free society. 

Advertisers must reevaluate the nature of the messages they 
wish to subsidize, since each commercial minute they buy pays for 
the transmission of certain values to our children. 

There are many more things the television industry can do. To 
begin with, parents need to know more about programming before 
it IS broadcast. Other forms of media offer parents a chance to re- 
view what their children will be exposed to. 

The parental advisories offered this fall are a constructive first 
step, but parents could be offered more information such as more 
detailed warnings or motion picture style ratings based on the 
amount of violence in the program. Even then, advisories do noth- 
ing when parents are unable to watch a program with their child 
for the reasons I have alluded to. 

I also think it is time the television industry helped us get our 
facts straight when it comes to television violence. It would be very 
constructive if the networks, cable TV, and the independents were 
to analyze the violence on their own programs, not just those they 
produce but all programing shown, and issue reports to the public. 

I understand the reasoning behind Senator Dorgan's proposal to 
mandate such reports. I would like to give the networks the oppor- 
tunity to do it ri^t in the first place. 

Most importantly, however, I think it is time for television to ex- 
amine what programs they buy and when they air them, especially 
during prime time hours. That includes both programming and pro- 
motions for upcoming programs and for movies which often show 
the most violent highlights of programs children cannot stay up to 
watch. It is not only the rieht thing to do, it is good business given 
how many of the top rated shows last year were nonviolent com- 
edies. 

But if they do not take this action, the bill you have proposed. 
Senator, goes right to the heart of it and will need to be considered 
in trsring to figure out a governmental response to this serious 
problem. 

Simply curbing violent television programming would be a posi- 
tive first step, but what if all television offered more shows with 
plots which actually repudiated violence? What if parents knew 



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there was programming available featuring antiviolent themes, the 
resolution of disputes without resource to violence, and people 
managing aneer without picking up a gun? 

Television does not have to pretend that violence does not exist, 
but it certainly does not have to present it as a solution to a prob- 
lem. 

So many of our children want to be heroes. I have been to school 
after school across this country. I asked the kids, 'What questions 
do vou have," because students ask better questions than anybody 
including newspaper reporters. They all have a sense of what can 
be done. They want to be somebody. They want to be a U.S. Sen- 
ator. They want to help make a ciifference in their communities. 
That is wny they too often have to resort to comic book superheros 
and idolize athletes. 

I remember my aunts going off to World War II. One was an 
Army nurse who went into North Africa behind Patton's army. An- 
other was a Women's Army Service pilot who towed targets and 
ferried bombers. And when those ladies came home from the war 
they were my heroines. 

I watched John Kennedy send our young people half-way around 
the world to help make a difference. Congress recently passed the 
national service legislation, which I think will help give our young- 
sters a chance to serve. 

Why cannot television offer more examples of young people who 
see tne violence and other problems around them and work to 
make things better? What if it did more to highlight kids and 
adults who work to pick up their lives and change their commu- 
nities and support their families? 

Television can help teach children a lot about do's and do not's, 
but it has to go beyond that to relate to their world and show them 
that being an American means that they can grow up to be who 
they want to be and really make a difference regardless of their cir- 
cumstances. 

Television can help restore hope in children for whom hope does 
not come easily by promoting self-respect and esteem, by teaching 
that decisions should be made by what is right instead of what 
peers want, that being different should lead to tolerance and ac- 
ceptance, and that they should never go near or touch a gun. 

Some television, primarily the networks, have also begun to air 
antiviolence public service announcements. That is a great start, 
and I hope they will air more. But I hope the day will come when 
the role of a public service announcement goes beyond an antidote 
to the very programming which surrounds it. 

I know concern has been expressed as to the application of anti- 
trust laws to any joint activities by any networks to address the 
problem of television violence. I do not see any reason why the 
antitrust laws should be a barrier to the development of reasonable 
guidelines and standards. 

The administration stands ready to work with the industry to try 
to help resolve any uncertainties they may have, and the Justice 
Department will work with Senator Simon whose antitrust exemp- 
tion was helpful in moving this issue forward. 

As I have said, the television industry has taken some first steps. 
I am convinced that the men and women of the industry are deeply 



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33 

concerned. But if further significant voluntary steps are not soon 
taken, I know it will be difficult, and I think that Government ac- 
tion will be imperative. 

But we also need to encourage change at homes and in our 
schools. How ironic is it that we do not have to even talk of paren- 
tal and educational responses to television violence? Do things not 
seem upside down when violent programming is turning television 
into one more obstacle tliat parents and teachers have to overcome 
in order to raise children? The first amendment rightly puts the 
burden on anyone seeking to limit violent programming, but what 
if the burden were on television to justify violent programming? 

We do need to encourage parents to take more of a role in their 
children's television viewing. We must do everything we can to en- 
courage parents to be involved in every step of their children's 
lives. 

But parents can do a lot. They can send messages to advertisers 
that we are not going to buy your product if you advertise violence 
on television, and we can let our voice be heard throughout this 
Nation in terms of what we think about violence on TV. 

Since education is so critical to addressing their problem, our 
schools can play a part. In Aurora, IL, fourth graders are learning 
how to view television more critically. Like parents, teachers can 
help explain to kids how television violence is fiction, that it is 
shown only for entertainment purposes, how wrong it is, how pain- 
ful and permanent real violence is, and how to solve conflicts with- 
out violence. 

Mr. Chairman, I believe in an open society and a strong first 
amendment. My instincts militate against Government involve- 
ment in this area. But I also believe that television violence and 
the development our youth are not just another set of public policy 
problems, they go to the heart of our society's values. 

The best solutions lie with industry officials, parents, and edu- 
cators, and I do not relish the prospect of Government action. But 
if immediate voluntary steps are not taken and deadlines estab- 
lished. Government should respond and respond immediately. 

I want to use this forum to challenge television to substantially 
reduce its violent programming now. In the coming months, I want 
to work with everyone concerned with the problem, to reach out to 
parents and children and teachers and people in the entertainment 
industry. 

We need to proceed soberly, and rationally, and not succumb to 
hysteria or slogans or the thought that one single thing is going to 
make a difference in the complete picture. 

But we must move forward to set a schedule for compliance with 
proper standards, or Government should set those standards, and 
these bills before you today are a good beginning. 

Last April, and I did not know how I would use these, I received 
these letters from 75 children attending Park Elementary School in 
Munhall, PA. They are pretty remarkable letters. They obviously 
had had some class discussion. 

One of them, from Amber-Lynn Manning, puts it very simply. 
"Dear Ms. Reno, I do not like violence on TV. It makes me feel rot- 
ten. How can you help me?" 

Ms. Manning has challenged us. We must respond. 



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[The prepared statement of Attorney General Reno follows:] 

Prepared Statement op Attorney General Reno 

Thank you verv mudi, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to ^in you this moniing. I 
want to congratulate this Conmiittee for taking on sudi an miportant topic 

As Attorney General, I am dedicated to fighting violence wherever it is found: in 
the streets, m our nei^borhoods, in our schools and in our homes. But reacdve 
tools like tou^ sentences and expanded police forces are barely able to keep up 
¥dth crime. I would like to talk today about the challenges we face in tiying to pre- 
vent crime in the first place. In particular, I want to address the role of television 
in our culture of violence — and what it vnll take to achieve real change. 

THE PROMISE AND DISAPPOINTMENT OF TELEVISION 

I am not here to bash television. Earlier this week, I sat down with a number 
of industry executives, representatives of the broadcasting netwoiks and cable TV, 
for a frank exchange of views. They had a lot to say, and I listened carefully. I be- 
lieve that there is a vridespread recogpnition of the scope of this problem, and a grow- 
ing realization that television programming can and must be part of the solution. 

it is easy to foiiget what a miracle television is, the promise that it holds, and 
the remaikable capacity for education that it possesses. It has literally changed how 
we see the world and our place in it. An informed electorate is the Imckbone of our 
democracy, and television news, political debates and other public affairs program- 
ming are a primary source of information for voters and leaders alike. In its short 
history, television has also offered outstanding programming in the areas of edu- 
cation, the arts and entertainment. 

But the promise of television remains vastly unfulfilled. Too much of today's pro- 
gramming neither uplifts nor even reflects our national values and standards. In- 
stead of disseminating the best in our culture, television too often panders to our 
lowest common denominator. More than thirty years ago, FCC Commissioner New- 
ton Minow called television a "wasteland." I wish I could say that I thought there 
had been great improvement since then. 

THE EVIDENCE 

In only half a century, television violence has become as central to the life of our 
young people as homework and playgrounds. By the end of elementary school, the 
Journal of the American Medical Association reports that the average American 
child has watched 100,000 acts of violence — including 8,000 murders. By age 18, 
those numbers have jumped to 200,000 acts of violence and 40,000 murders. A 19SK2 
analysis of a typical day of television, commissioned by TV Guide, revealed about 
10 acts of violence an hour. That means that 10 times an hour, we expose children 
to behavior that society and the law condenm and prohibit. On Saturday mornings, 
when television programming targets children, that total jumps to 20-25 violent acts 
an hour. 

And year after year, a troubling body of evidence has been building up — evidence 
that shows a clear link between television violence and aggressive behavior. With 
each review of the evidence, scientists have become more and more convinced Uiat 
television violence and real-life aggression are strongly linked: 

• After a decade of more research, the National Institute of Mental Health con- 
cluded that '^he great majority^ of studies linked television violence and real-life ag- 
gression. 

• And just last year, the American Psychological Association's review of researdi 
was conclusive, saying that '^he accumulated research clearly demonstrates a cor- 
relation between viewing violence and aggressive behavior." 

Critics sav these studies only show that many people who happen to watch violent 
television also happen to exhibit aggressive behavior, rather than proving that such 
viewing actually leads to violent benavior. They argue that there could oe another 
factor which causes both things to happen. 

Mr. Chairman, I am not here today as a scientist. I am here as an Attorney Gen- 
eral who is concerned about the future of this country's children, and as a concerned 
American who is fed up with excuses and hedging in the face of an epidemic of vio- 
lence. When it comes to these studies, I think we are allowed to add our conunon 
sense into the mix. 

Any parent can tell you how their children mimic what they see everywhere — in- 
cluding what they see on television. Studies show children literally acting out and 
imitating what they watch. The networks themselves understand this point veiy 
well: they run public service announcements to promote socially constructive behav- 



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35 

ior, they announce that this years programs feature a reduced amount of violence, 
and they boast of episodes encouraging constructive behavior. In each instance they 
endorse the notion that television can influence how people act. 

The link between violent programming and real violence is especially ominous for 
those in our society already facing the most turbulence and strife. Many young 
Americans struggle to construct a value system amidst increasingly amoral cir- 
cumstances. We already know that children from low-income families watch an es- 
pecially laiige amount of television. When TV lacks for constructive, value-oriented 
programming, it already lets them down. 

But what is the effect of 10 violent acts an hour on these struggling children? In 
dangerous neighborhoods, television may be one of the safest forms of recreation left 
for children— unless it is more violent than the streets they are afraid to walk. In- 
deed, in hig^ crime areas, television violence and real violence have become so inter- 
twined that they may well feed on each other. If this is true, then television is ut- 
teriv failing us. 

liie problem is not just numbers and studies; it is the indiscriminate way in 
which violence is strewn about every portion of television programming. Fm not 
here to condemn documentaries which teach us the lessons of war, news program- 
ming that seeks only to accurately portray the darker side of real life, or sporting 
events that help society channel its competitive and aggressive impulses. Violence 
has always been a part of our life, our history and our culture; and, television pro- 
gramminff in a free society should not be expected to pretend otherwise. 

But violence has become the salt and pepper of our television diet: fictional shows 
and movies feature dozens of killings of bad guys or innocents; made-for-TV movies 
glorify the most sordid examples of human behavior; the local news opens with 
pieces on violent crimes before proceeding to aiw other type of stoiy; ana so-called 
nreal life " police programs portray the world of'^law enforcement as nothing but a 
violent game between America's police and its citizens. 

It's also worth noting that this problem does not end with an eighteenth birthday. 
Repeated exposure to violent programming also hurts adults — ^by heightening our 
fear and mistrust of the outside world, by convincing us that our epidemic oi vio- 
lence is too intractable to address, by numbing us to the plight of its victims, or 
by repeatedly showing us how to address the most frustrating problems of life with 
violence. 

MOVING FORWARD 

In the face of these concerns, many people in the television industry argue that 
the solution is simple: that parents should just turn the television off. I agree that 
parental supervision must always be the first line of defense — indeed, my mother 
didnt allow our family to have a television. 

But as slogans go, I fear that ''let parents turn off the television" may be a bit 
naive as a response to television violence, especially when you consider the chal- 
lenge that parents face in trying to convince children to study hard, behave and stay 
out of trouDle. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens once compared this argu- 
ment to "saying that the remedy for an assault is to run away after the first blow." 
Indeed, many parents don't want to have to turn the television off— they want to 
expose their children to the good things television can offer, like educational and 
fauoiily-oriented programs. 

As I said earlier, I am not here today to bash the television industry, nor am I 
lodging for villains. I believe that television executives are genuinely concerned 
about this problem, and I commend the actions they have taken to address the issue 
of violent programming. It is also clear that some have worked harder to address 
this issue Uian others, and I address my remarks to all programmers — including 
those in the cable industry and independent stations which air mostly syndicated 
programming. 

F(Dr example, I think the networks acted constructively when Congress passed the 
Television Program Improvement Act of 1990. By working together to issue joint 
Standards for the Depiction of Violence in Television Programming," the netwoiks 
showed their willingness to confront this issue. And the '^^dvanced Parental Advi- 
sory^ system announced this June will provide viewers with programming advisories 
and anti -violence promotional announcements. 

I believe these are positive steps. They are, however, extremely small steps. For 
example, the joint standards issued in 1992 required no change in network program- 
ming—they essentially restated each network s existing policy. And the networks 
have indicated that the new advisory system would have led to few warnings during 
last yearns sdiedule. 



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36 

What does upset me is when the leaders of powerful institutions which bear some 
responsibility lor the problem — and possess powerful resources to address it — treat 
any discussion of their role as political persecution, or seek to shift all responsibility 
for solutions everywhere else. 

Mr. Chairman, I am tired of the shoulder-shrugging and the finger-pointing. No 
one ever accused the networks or television violence itself of somehow being solely 
responsible for violence in America. I believe that we all contribute to the obvelop- 
ment of our young people. 

All I am asking today is that the entertainment industnr — and that includes the 
movies, the broadcasting networks, cable TV and the independents — acknowledge 
their role and their responsibilities, and pledge to work with us to use every tool 
they have to address this problem. There's been enough bickering over the problems. 

Let's talk about solutions we can work on together — right now. 

LEGISLATIVE OPTIONS 

There are many legislative proposals and much talk about regulation of the indus- 
try to limit violence on television. This is not, in my view, the place to begin to effect 
real and lasting change; but it does raise an important point of departure for any 
discussion of legislation and other solutions: that regulation of violence is constitu- 
tionally permissible. 

In the case of FCC v. Pacifica — where the Court permitted the FCC to regulate 
which hours indecent programming could be aired—Justice Stevens wrote the fol- 
lowing for the majority: 

• '^e have long recognized that each medium of expression presents special 
First Amendment problems. And of all forms of communication, it is broadcasting 
that has received the most limited First Amendment protection." 

He went on to cite two reason for this distinction: 

• Tirst-the broadcast* media have established a uniquely pervasive presence in 
the lives of all Americans. Patently offensive, indecent material presented ever the 
airwaves confronts the citizen, not only in public, but also in the privacv of the 
home, where the individual's ri^t to be lefl alone plainly outweighs the First 
Amendment rights of an intruder. 

• "Second, broadcasting is uniquely accessible to children, even those too young 
to read. Other forms of olTensive expression may be withheld from the young with- 
out restricting the expression at its source." 

In view of this breadth, the various Senate bills under consideration appear to be 
constitutionally sound under the Pacifica language. Despite this fact, and despite 
the popular support tar action to curb television violence, I believe that government 
intervention is neither the best option nor the first we should try. But it is up to 
others to ensure that it is not the only option lefl. The best solution would be action 
taken outside of the government — by parents, by educators, and, first and foremost, 
by the entertainment industry. 

OTHER SOLUTIONS 

For those who produce, distribute and underwrite programming on the networks, 
cable TV and the independents, I believe that the time for business as usual has 
come to an end. I know that the television and film industries see violent program- 
ming as a source of lucrative revenues, but the time has come to break the cycle 
of television violence. 

It is time for the television and film industry to search their souls and realize that 
it possesses enormous power in a free society — power that can lead to significant 
unintentional side effects. Advertisers must reevaluate the nature of the messages 
they wish to subsidize, since each commercial minute they buy pays for the trans- 
mission of certain values to our children. 

There are many more things the television industry can do. To begin with, par- 
ents need to know more about programming before it is broadcast. Other forms of 
media offer parents a chance to review what their children will be exposed to. The 
parental advisories offered this fall are a constructive first step, but parents could 
oe offered more information -such as more detailed warnings or motion-picture style 
ratings based on the amount of violence in a program. Even then, advisories do 
nothing when parents are unable to watch program with their children. 

I also think it is time the television industry helped us get our facts straight when 
it comes to television violence. It would be very constructive if the networks, cable 
TV and the independents were to analyze the violence on their own programs, not 
lust those they oroduced but all programming shown, and issue reports to the pub- 
lic. I understana the reasoning behind Senator Dorgan's proposal to mandate such 



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reports; but I would prefer to give the networks an opportunity to show they are 
willing to do 80 on their own. 

Most importantly, however, I think it is time for television to re-examine what 
programs they buv and when they air them, especially during prime-time hours. 
That includes botn programming and promotions for upcoming programs and for 
movies — which often show the most violent highlights of programs children cant 
stay up to watch. It's not only the right thing to do— it's good ousiness, given how 
many of the top-rated shows last year were non-violent comedies. 

Simplv curfomg violent programming would be a veiy positive first step. But what 
if all television offered more shows with plots which actually repudiated violence? 
What if parents knew there was programming available featuring anti-violent 
themes, the resolution of disputes without resort to violence, and people managing 
anger without picking up a gun? Television doesnt have to pretend that violence 
doesn't exist — but it certainly does not have to present it as a solution to a problem. 

So many of our children want to be heroes, out dont have an outlet. That's why 
they read about comic book superheros and idolize athletes. In the World War Two 
era, young people went off to nght fascism. Three decades ago. President Kennedy 
called on them to join the Peace Corps. Congress recently passed National Service 
legislation which I nope will call more people to heroism. 

But why can't television offer more examples of young people who see the violence 
and other problems around them and woix to make tnmgs better? What if it did 
more to highlight kids and adults who work to pick up their lives and change their 
communities? 

Television can help teach children a lot about do's and don'ts — ^but it has to go 
beyond that to relate to their world and show them that being an American means 
that they can grow up to be who they want to be and really make a difference, re- 
gardless of thee circumstances. Television can help restore hope in children for 
whom hope doesn't come easy: by promoting self-respect and esteem, by teaching 
that decisions should be made based on what is right instead of what peers want. 
that being different should lead to tolerance and acceptance, and that they should 
never go near or touch a gun. 

Some television, primarily the networks, have also begun to air anti-violence pub- 
lic service announcements. That's a great start, and 1 nope they will air more, but 
I hope that the day will come soon when the role of a public service announcement 
goes beyond that of antidote to the very programming which surrounds it. Many of 
me independent stations and cable networks do not even have standards and prac- 
tices divisions. 

I know concern has been expressed as to the application of anti-trust laws to any 
joint activities by networks to address the problem of television violence. I dont see 
anv reason why the anti-trust law should be a barrier to the development of reason- 
able guidelines and stendards. The Administration stands ready to work with die 
industry to tiy to help them resolve any uncertainties they may have. 

As I said before, the television industry has taken some first steps to address 
these problems. I am convinced that the men and women of the television industry 
are deeply concerned about violence in America, and recent history shows they are 
¥dlling to go beyond mere talk. When television characters began buckling their seat 
belte, and TV smoking and drinking became less glamorous, the industry dem- 
onstrated ite Mrillingness to bring their enormous power to bear on behalf of societal 
needs. But if further, significant voluntary steps are not taken soon, 1 know how 
difficult it will be to forestall government action. 

We also need to enoourase change at home and in our schools. But how ironic it 
is that we even have to talk of parental and educational responses to television vio- 
lence. Dont things seem upside down when violent programming is turning tele- 
vision into one more obstacle that parents and teachers nave to overcome in order 
to raise children? The First Amendment ri^tly puts the burden on an^ne seeking 
to limit violent programming. But what if the burden were on television to justify 
violent programming? 

We do need to encourage parents to take more of a role in their children's tele- 
vision viewing, however. Parents can keep an eye on what programs their children 
wateh, wateh television with them, talk with them about what they see and explain 
the difference between fictional violence and what the world expects of them. Par- 
ents can also bring economic pressure to bear on companies who sponsor violent pro- 
fframming. A national campaign would let advertisers and programmers know tnat 
Americans are willing to snow their frustration with television violence with their 
wallets as well as their remote controls. 

Since education is so critical to addressing this problem, our schools can play a 
part. In Aurora, Illinois, 4th graders are learning how to view television more criti- 
cally. Lake parents teachers can help explain to idds how television violence is fic- 



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38 

tion that is shown only for entertainment purposes, how wrong it is, how painful 
and permanent real violence is, and how to solve conflicts wiHiout violence. 

CONCLUSION 

Mr. Chairman, I believe in an open society and a strong First Amendment. My 
instincts militate against governmental involvement in this area. But I also believe 
that television violence and the development of our youth are not just another set 
of public policy problems. Rather, they go to the heart of our society's values. 

The best solutions lie with industry ofllcials, parents and educators, and I don't 
relish the prospect of 0)vemment action. But if further voluntary steps are not 
taken, public pressure Tor more intrusive measures will grow more intense — and 
more dimcult to resist. 

I want to use this forum to challenge television to reduce substantially its violent 
programming in one yearns time. Cold turkey would be better, but 1 want to allow 
a time period for a reasonable transition. In the coming months, I want to woric 
with eveiyone concerned with this problem, to reach out to parents and children and 
teachers and people in the entertainment industry. We need to proceed soberly and 
rationally, ana not succumb to hysteria or slogans on any side. But we must move 
forward. 

I would like to close with a very personal appeal — to you, Mr. Chairman, to the 
other Senators gathered here today, to parents and educators, and especially to the 
men and women of the television industry. I am holding letters in my hand from 
75 children attending Paik Elementary &:hool in Munhall, Pennsylvania. One of 
them — from Amber-Lynn Manning— puts it very simply: "Dear Miss Reno, I dont 
like violence on TV. It makes meleel rotten. How can you help me?" Ms. Manning 
has challenged us. We must respond. 

The Chairman. Very good, General. You have spoken knowledge- 
ably, not only as a lawyer, but with feeling about children. There 
is a sort of dichotomy within your own testimony relative to Gov- 
ernment. You hesitate and in the same breath, though, you have 
acknowledged that regulation by the Government is constitu- 
tionally permissible in this area. 

As I see it then, I see it as a duty. I would have agreed with you, 
and I have been listening now for 27 years on this score myself 
Congress has been at it for over 40 years. 

Let me just ask this, and I ask it in a friendly way because I as- 
sume as one these bills comes in you are immediately called upon, 
and I am good friends with all of these executives, and I take it 
they have called on you also? 

Attorney General Keno. Oh, yes. 

The CHAmMAN. But that is perhaps the first meeting you ever 
had. Have you ever had, until you became Attorney General, the 
occasion to meet with the executives of the TV industry? 

Attorney General Reno. Just the local people. 

The Chairman. Just the local people, not the national ones. You 
see, we have been meeting with the national ones, and after all of 
that, way back in the seventies, 18 years ago, this is what Dick 
Wiley, the Chairman of the FCC, said. The new guidelines "rep- 
resent a major accomplishment for industry self-regulation" — 18 
years ago. 

He expressed optimism that they would be applied in a reason- 
able manner that would be acceptable to the American people. You 
see, like you said later in vour statement, they have done it again 
and again and again. We have no recourse but to assume that re- 
sponsibility under the Constitution. And that is why I introduced 
tne particular bill. Senator Inouye and myself 

And incidentally, we will make his statement a part of the 
record. He has been handling the Defense Appropriations bill and 
could not be here. 



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39 

[The information referred to follows:] 
News Release— FCC Issues Report on Violence and Obscenity on Television 

The Federal Communications Commission made public today its Report on the 
Broadcast of Violent and Obscene Material. 

The report, a study of solutions to the problems of televised violence and sexually- 
oriented material, was undertaken by tne Commission at the request of Congress 
in mid-1974. h b- 

'Hie Coounission's study focused on two issues: 

• steps that might be taken to prohibit the broadcasting of obscene or indecent 
material, and 

• steps that mi^t be taken to protect children from other sexually-oriented or 
violent material that might be inappropriate for them. 

The report concluded that with regard to obscene and indecent material, direct 
governmental action is required by statute, and, the Commission said, it intends to 
meet its responsibilities in this area. 

Specifically, the Conunission said it would submit to Congress an amendment to 
Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 1464, to eliminate the uncertamty as to whether the 
FCC has jurisdiction over the broadcasting of obscene or indecent material on tele- 
vision. The prohibition would extend to cable television .as well, the Commission 
said. 

As to the broader question of what is aporopriate for vievring by children, the FCC 
concluded that self-regulation by the broadcast industry was preferable to the adop- 
tion of rigid Federal standards. 

The Conunission said recent actions by the three television networks and the Na- 
tional Association of Broadcasters Television Code Review Board establishing a 
'Yamily viewing^ period during the first hour of prime time were "conmiendable and 
go a long way toward establiuiing appropriate protections for children from violent 
and sexually-oriented material." 

The adoi^ion of Federal rules, the Conunission said, mi^t involve the govern- 
ment too deeply in progranuning content and raise sensitive rirst Amendment ques- 
tions. 

In addition, the Conunission said, any rulemaking designed to limit violent and 
sexually-oriented progranuning that was neither obscene nor indecent would require 
finding an appropriate balance between the need to protect children from harmful 
material ana the adult audience's interest in diverse pro^amming. 

Such regulation action, the report noted, could risk improper government inter- 
ference in sensitive, subjective programming decisions, freeze present standards and 
discourage creative developments in the medium. 

FCC Cnairman Richard E. Wiley, in a recent speech to the National Association 
of Television Program Executives in Atlanta said: 

"Short of an absolute ban on all forms of Violence' — including even slap-stick 
comedy — ^the miestion of what is appropriate for family viewing necessarily 
must be judged in highly subjective terms * * * Indeed, the lack of an accept- 
able objective standard is one of the best reasons why — the Constitution aside — 
I feel tnat self-regulation is to be preferred over the adoption of inflexible gov- 
ernmental rules." 

The FCC is required by the Communications Act to ensure that broadcast licens- 
ees operate in a manner consistent with the "public interest," and Commission pol- 
icy has long held that program service in the public interest is an essential part 
of a licensees obligation. 

At the same time, however, Section 326 of the Act specifically prohibits "censor- 
ship" by the FCC and expressly forbids promulgation of rules or conditions "which 
shall interfere with the right of free speech by means of radio communications." 

The report noted that for this reason the Commission historically had exercised 
caution in program reflation. 

With all these considerations in mind, Wiley last November 22 initiated discus- 
sions with executives of the television networks. 

Among those attending the first meeting were Arthur Tavlor, oresident, CBS Inc., 
and John Schneider, president, CBS Broadcast Group; Herbert Schlosser, president, 
NBC, Inc., and David Adams, vice chairman, NBC, Inc.; Elton Rule, president, ABC, 
Inc^ and Everett Erlick, senior vice president and general counsel, ABC, Inc. 

The chairman suggested several specific proposals — (1) a new commitment to re- 
duce the level of intensity of violent and sexually-oriented material, (2) the schedul- 
ing after 9 P.M. of programming inappropriate for young viewers, (3) the broadcast 
of audio and video warnings when such programs are broadcast and advance 
warnings in print media program listings ana promotional material. 



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40 

The chAimuin alio raised the poMibility of adopting a rating system snnilja' to 
that now used by the motion picture industry. 

No commitmenta wera sou^ from the networiu and none were offered bat the 
report noted that the meeting provided an opportunity for a free and candid eiq>k>- 
raUon of a matuaOy recogtiiged problem aflecting broadcast service. 

While not all the oroposals advanced by the Commission were acceptable to the 
oatworks, eadi devekM>Ml a set of sidelines it felt should govern iU programming, 
and eadi rrieased to tne public policy statements incorporatuig these guidelines. 

Common to all three statements was the network's assurance that the fint hour 
of network entertainment programming in prime time would be suitable lor viewing 
by the entira family. 

At a second meeting Januair 10 in which representatives of the National Aasoda- 
tion of Broadcastera joined Wiley and the networic officials, eadi network made it 
clear that programs presented during the "family viewing period would be appro- 
priate for j^ng diilaren. Proposals that reforms be incorporated in the NAB Tele- 
vision Code were also discussed. 

On February 4, the NAB Television Code Review Board adopted a proposed 
amendment to the NAB Television Code. Similar to the networics' guidehnea, the 
code would expand the "family viewing'* period to include "the hour immediately 
preceding the first hour of networic programming in prime time." 

Tlie new proposal would go into effect this September but first must be approved 
by the NAB Television Boani, which will meet in April. The Commission said it had 
no reason to expect the board would reject the proposal. It added that it anticipated 
discussing the same issues with the Association of Independent Television Stations 
and with educational broadcasters. 

In sum, the three network statements and the NAB proposed policy would estab- 
lish the following guidelines for the Pall 1975 television oroadcast season: 

• the flrst hour of network entertainment programming in prime time and the 
immediately preceding hour would be designated as a "family viewing* period. This 
would, in effect, include the period between 7 and 9 P.M., eastern time during the 
fbrst six days or the week. On Sunday, because network programming typically be- 
gins at a mfTerent time, the "family viewing" period would begin half an hour ear- 
ner. 

• "viewer advisories", or warnings, would be broadcast in both audio and video 
form 'Hn the occasional case when an entertainment program" broadcast during the 
''family viewing" period contained material that might be unsuitable for young audi- 
ences. "Viewer advisories" also would be used in later evening hours for programs 
oontaininff material that might be disturbing to significant portions of the aucuence. 

• broaocasters would attempt to alert pxiolishers of television listings as to pro- 
grams containing "advisories" and would urge responsible use of such warnings in 
promotional material. 

The report noted that the network and NAB proposals had been designed to give 
parents general notice that after the evening news, and for the duration of the des- 
ignated period, the broadcastere would make every eflbrt to assure that program- 
ming presented— including series and movies — would be appropriate for the entire 
family. 

However, the report pointed out, "parents, in our view, have — and should retain — 
the primary responsibility for their children's well-being. This traditional and re- 
varaa principle * * * has been adversely aflected by the corrosive processes of tech- 
nological and social change in twentieth-century American life. Nevertheless, we be- 
lieve that it deserves continuing affirmation." 

The Commission said it recognized specific aspects of these industry self-regula- 
tion measures might meet witn some disagreements. The "familv viewing" period 
would be present^ at diflerent hours in different time zones and ordinarOy would 
and at 9 P.M. in New York, at 8 P.M. in the Midwest, and as earlv as 7 FM, in 
parts of the Mountain Time Zone. In addition, the fact that the "family viewing* pe- 
riod mav be presented at a diflerent time on Sunday could create some confusion. 
'Rie Comnussion also noted that "program advisories" and other warnings should 
not be used in "a titillating fashion so as to commercially exploit the presentation 
of violent or sexual -oriented material." It added that the new guidelines would not 
be acceptable to the public if broadcaster "prove to be unreasonably expansive in 
deddinff which programs are appropriate for family viewing." 

Ekapite these considerations, the Commission concluded, the new guidelines "Vep- 
reasnt a mi^r accomplishment for industry self-regulation." It expressed optimism 
that they would be applied in a reasonable manner that would be acceptabfe to the 
American people. 

TViraing to the FCCs statutory responsibilities regarding the broadcast of obeoene 
mMud indecent material, the Commissk>n said Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 1464, whidi 



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41 

pFDhibits uttcnnoes of Voy obaoene, indMUit or fMToftat kngttm biV HIMM tf 
radio coimminiqiticMM* might bt inadMiaate for Uii jpurpoM of j^rmMUAi «)q^lt«il 
visual depickiDiii of aemal materiaL 

Conaeqnenl^, it said, ft would indadft in ito kflitlaUva propotati la lh« Mlh SdA-- 
gress an amendment io Section 1464 that would aHminata th« un€«fUlAly M lA 
whether the FCC had rtatutoiy authority to prooaed aiminil vidao d«nl€iloa «f ^^ 
scene or indecent material. Tbe prqMsal would axtand tka prohlUUon 10 ^Vi» l«te« 
vision ai welL 

The report noted that in a related step the Commitilon also had e)aHfl«d U« pMt- 
tion on the broadcast of indecent language in a declaratory ruling lsiU«d l^brvmiy 
12 in a case invohdng WBAI(FM), New Yoiic City. 

That ruling related the new definition of **indecent** to the use of language ihttl 
describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary eemmuntly 
standards for broadcast media, sexual or excretory acti^ties and ofgdni dt ttmtA §f 
the day when there was a reasonable risk children might be in the sudienecd 

The Commission concluded with the hope that the combined eiDsetH of th« d^^lnrAs 
tory order and the oroposed amendment to the U.S. Code would clarify th« hf^nA- 
cast standard for obscene and indecent speech «s well «g vlnusl d@pletlonil and 
would prove eflective in abating problems that had arisen In theae ai^aa of program^ 
ming. 

The Chairman. But we both heard it, Senator Inouye and I, and 
so we said, look, let us not just make headlines, let us try to fflaki 
some headway. How can we constitutionally, in the l§ast r§strietivd 
manner, establish more or less a safe harbor or a family hour? ^d 
we will not have to get in the arguments of whether cable ii doing 
it now and whether the networks are doing it or not, whoihtr n 
comes on in ads or does not come on in advertisementi, and all th# 
little peripherals. 

We are beyond the pale. We know. The parent that th# TV hfti 
become— vou see, we started with the Attorney Otn^ral and thi 
Weed and Seed Proeram and the playground coach. And you hAV# 
got 267 kids in my backyard a couple of years Bgo all playifif §§§- 
cer, got a championship. The coach is a t#acher, 

I hear from edocatian, and we have thousands of huariflp §n Hf 
and the teadier will say. the teacher is ih$ parent, pr^mmy th# 
only parent diat many or the children will s#e. And &th4^wim ih§ 
TV is the most pervasive parent It is called a narc&tlc^ bdi ih§ 
truth of die maUer is, and we have got to ad^n^wl^dp itfiti»th4^ 
most pervasive parent all children see, except y^wr f»mty ^rfcere 
it^ would not letjroo look at it. 

So, diat being the case, we have fot to afMme $O0Pe kiind ^ f^ 
sponsibility and noit wringing hi^4§ and viie^flf with ^ihrm. 
What is wrong widi the Congreiss in the opMiiion of the pf^^^^ ^ 
an the rlieforic and ^ImM^. 

What abmt Urn tMtmg» and Inotiirare biitl with f^^m^ M pMtimif 
in a tumh h^m ^»4here we €^m mtmH^h 0^ Tfee TV imAs^sO^ hm 
adknowfefflKd ilL- We tsa^e g^ ti^af<i^ and Ktfttlv^^. t lb»m m)t^ 
ween it. I Ap me wiit^ it. t^^ '^i^^l ^t'ki^^ anvd flk^ HM^e n^ 

fofr 49 y€»^ m4 g^- rtb^im^4^-. kf\4 y^^ty ^«' ^^W(S^^ ndMV ^ ^^ 
the Atntem^ ^m^^\ tjty .^M t!H^ dH^vi^a^v M^ y^^ ^<^ ^^ K^ 

anMidknwt!^ 



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42 

Attorney General Reno. Senator, as I have said the bills that you 
have directly under consideration today are constitutional and can 
be passed, and we have reviewed them very carefully in the De- 
partment. 

You will also note the change between my prepared testimony 
and what I said today. Last night I started reading about how 
many times they said they are going to do better, and it was over 
and over and over again. And I was impressed this morning as I 
heard Senator Simon say, "What about giving them until Januaiy 
and then doing it if they do not do it?" 

The Chairman. Well, we have given them at least 27 years in 
my experience; and we can give one more January, and make the 
bill effective come January 1, or whatever it is. But I would hope 
we would begin to move. 

Let me limit myself, because you are the most important witness 
we will have; and we have got some very, very important panels 
to come. 

Senator Danforth. 

Senator Danforth. General, thank you very much. There would 
be no constitutional quarrel whatever with simple disclosure re- 
quirements, would there? 

Attorney General Reno. No, sir. 

Senator Danforth. All right. And for example, let us say that 
a television station were required by law to report every month on 
how many violent deaths it showed on that channel during the pre- 
vious month. There would be no constitutional problem with doing 
that, would there? 

Attorney General Reno. No, sir. 

Senator Danforth. And if, say, a motion picture were to have, 
at the beginning of the motion picture, The following motion pic- 
ture has 13 violent deaths, 3 rapes," something like that, there 
would be absolutely no conceivable constitutional argument against 
that, would there? 

Attorney General Reno. I would just worry about how many peo- 
ple would stay, if they were not properly supervised, to watch. 

Senator Danforth. Well, my view is that — I agree with that. I 
mean, I think that that is, may be, the problem with primetime re- 
quirements; that kids just are watching television all the time be- 
cause, unfortunately, there is too little parental supervision. I do 
not know how to deal with that problem. 

But it seems to me that, witnout outlawing anything, we could 
require simple disclosure. That might have some kind of preventa- 
tive effect. We could also, could we not, require advertisers to say, 
make a public statement, say, every month, that: *The Blokes Cor- 
poration has sponsored programming during the preceding montii 
that had 13,000 violent deaths, and 2,000 rapes," and however you 
want to word it? We could do that, could we not? 

Attorney General Reno. You could do that. As you get into all 
of these reporting issues, you are going to get into: What should be 
reported, and what should not? What is gratuitous violence? Do 
you report all violence? How is it done? What is violence? 

Senator Danforth. Right. 

Attorney General Reno. It could be constitutionally structured. 



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Senator Danporth. It could be constitutionally structured. But, 
at the very least, we know what we are talking about. I mean, we 
know that cutting somebody in half with a chainsaw is, creates the 
kind of problem you are testifying about? 

Attorney General Reno. Absolutely. 

Senator Danforth. So, if we only wanted to do that, if we onlv 
wanted to say, "If you are going to nave somebody cut in half with 
a chainsaw, you have to disclose that," that would be a pretty sim- 
ple matter, would it not? 

Attorney Greneral Reno. Yes. 

Senator Danforth. I have always felt that disclosure is impor- 
tant. This committee, a number or years ago, was responsible for 
legislation that reauired ontime performance of airlines to be re- 
ported, every month. That is all we said, "Just disclose it. What is 
your ontime record?" 

We believed, and I believe now, that that had a very positive ef- 
fect. Why? Because it simply required the assumption of respon- 
sibility by the airlines for announcing to the public what they were 
about 

Would it seem to you that it would be a positive thing: For those 
responsible, whether they are in the motion picture industry or the 
television industiy, or whether they are businesses buying adver- 
tising time, to simply state to the public, in effect, "We are respon- 
sible for bringing into the American home, x number of violent 
deaths last month"? 

Attorney General Reno. Yes, I think it would be very positive. 

Senator Danforth. Thank you very much. 

The CHAmMAN. The chair has Exon, Bums, Dorgan, Kerry, Gor- 
ton, Hutchison, Pressler, Lott, Bryan, Mathews and Robb. Senator 
Kerry excused himself momentarily, realizing this order, and is 

foing to come back. Next is Senator Bums. No, excuse me, Senator 
!xon. I apologize, Senator Exon. 

Senator ExoN. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. General, 
thank you for being here this morning. You have already heard, on 
the previous testimony previous to yours, and the questions from 
the members of the senate, that we are continually hung up on 
this matter of "censorship"; the "First Amendment Rights'*; and so 
forth and so on. 

I am not a lawyer, but I do not believe that the framers of the 
Constitution ever envisioned that their document, written for free- 
dom, written in the blood of the Revolution, ever intended protec- 
tion for pomographers or the purveyors of a steady stream of vio- 
lence. 

I know that it is not popular, but I still talk about, not only vio- 
lence, but sex; and if you will look at what we see today, they are 
interrelated, and I think one problem is almost as bad as the other, 
or vice versa. 

Let me ask you this: Why is it that we cannot come to some reso- 
lution — and you have indicated, in your response to questions al- 
ready, that you believe that there are some things that we can and 
cannot do— 4nd ^till meet the constitutional requirement? Do you 
believe that certoJn portions of the legal community may have 
overinfluenced the courts, and maybe, public opinion; and maybe 
that has to be turned around before we can really address this? 



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We can talk all we want about voluntary compliance and things 
of that nature. What is driving sex and violence in the media 
today, in my opinion, is the almighty buck. And that is going to 
continue, unless we have the courage to do something about it. And 
every time somebody says, "Oh, you cannot, that is censorship; oh, 
vou cannot do that, that is a violation of the first amendment," I 
nappen to feel, as a nonlawyer, that that first amendment has been 
so thwarted and developed over the years, that maybe we are in 
a defensive position rather than a legitimate offensive position, in 
trying to straighten this out. 

Attorney General Reno. No, sir. I think you are in an offensive 
position. As I have testified, I think the three bills that are specifi' 
cally under consideration here today are constitutional and would 
pass first amendment muster. 

Senator ExoN. What do you think, then, about getting over into 
the related matter of sex; the effectiveness of the pornographers 
and their highly paid lawyers, who, I think, have scared to death 
even the boards of directors of our public libraries? 

We had a recent controversy in Nebraska, where Madonna's sex 
book, that I have not seen but I have read reports of it, must, 
under the direction of the library board in one Nebraska commu- 
nity, under the Freedom of Information Act, must be maintained 
in the library. Is that a legitimate, in your opinion, protection of- 
fered the library board, under the first amendment? 

Attorney General Reno. I would have to analyze that, sir, and 
consider that book; but with respect to sex and violence, I think 
there are connections. I think what you have raised, however, 
would be one of the issues that would have to be addressed, in 
terms of what is violence, and how it would be characterized in the 
legislation. 

Senator ExoN. Let me say this, Mr. Chairman, that I happen to 
feel that, while many of us here are very much concerned about 
this, I am not sure that we have a full understanding of what the 
majority of our constituents think about this. 

I recently had a discussion with a very major moRul in the 
media — ^television, cable, they are also in tne matter or producing 
pictures — who said to me when I asked him what he thought about 
the violence and sex on television, he said, "I am very much con- 
cerned about it." I said, "Do you have children?" 'Tfes, two teen- 
agers." **What is your rule?" "We have very strict rules, as to what 
they can and cannot watch; when they can have television on, and 
when they cannot." 

I said, *What happens, when they go next door?" He said, "I sup- 
pose they watch it." He said, "I feel exactly as you do about this, 
Senator; but the problems are that in our mdustry the public sets 
the standards of what they want to see. Despite what you and I 
think is right or wrong, time after time, we have shown that the 
people want violence and they want sex on their television 
screens." And, he said, "After all, that is the, what we are doing 
is following the will of the people in our pro^amming." 

Do you think that is an accurate description of what people want 
today? 

Attorney General Reno. All I can tell you is from my exoerience 
in Miami before I came to Washington, when I spoke to aifferent 



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groups, small groups, community groups, condominium leaders, 
PTA's, everywhere I went and addressed the issue, and now, as I 
talk to various groups of a larger constituency throughout the coun- 
try. When I say, "Look, you can have a voice in this. Let your ad- 
vertisers know that you do not want this violence on TV at times 
that children can be watching it," the room just bursts into ap- 
plause. 

That is not a very scientific polltaking, but I think the American 
people are sick and fed up with violence on TV. I think these 
kids— there may have been classroom discussion that led to these 
letters— but kids are asking me the same thing: "Why do we have 
this violence on TV?" 

Yes, we are in danger of losing some of our generation, but most 
children just want a good life, a life free of violence. So, it is not 
scientific. Senator; but I think the people are sending the message. 

Senator ExON. Well, my time is up; but I certainly hope that we 
are right. I think we should do something about it. I hope, and I 
would advise my colleagues that I suspect we are going to be in all 
kinds of difficulties with being accused of censorship and first 
amendment rights, unless somehow we can make a definition be- 
tween what we have to do to protect our very young, our children, 
our grandchildren; as opposed to adults. 

And it seems to me, being a nonlawyer, that we might be able 
to do something in that area; or I think we are going to run into 
all kinds of difficulty if we try and go across the board with this. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

The CHAmMAN. Thank you. Senator Burns. 

Senator Burns. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to continue 
along the line of Senator Exon; and thank you for coming this 
morning. But I — along that line, have we defined "violence"? 

Attorney General Reno. I think that the issue of what violence 
is will be one of the subjects of debate as you consider any such 
legislation; and how you define violence, how you eliminate gratu- 
itous violence but permit the demonstration of news-related vio- 
lence. That will be one of the issues that will have to be addressed. 

Senator Burns. You see, I saw a wonderful little movie last 
night; and I would recommend it to anybody. But boy, there was 
violence in it. And it was called, "Rudy." A great story and — that 
is, if you like football and you like Notre Dame, you will cry all the 
way through that thing. Now, I am not a great Notre Dame fan, 
but that does not make any difference. I can sure relate to that. 

And so I am saying, we are going to have to identify or define 
violence; and also, going along the constitutional thing, in content, 
is there a difference between content regulation, is there a distinc- 
tion between over-the-air broadcast and cable? Or is there a dif- 
ference? Is the first amendment defined differently, for cable; and 
now. Cable Telco, as it has been ruled in the Bell Atlantic? And is 
it redefined again, for print? 

Attorney Greneral Reno. I think, as Justice Stevens has pointed 
out in consideration of broadcasting networks and the opportunity 
to come into a Hving room unbidden, if you will, that there is a dis- 
tinction. 



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Senator Burns. There is a difference between broadcast over the 
air, and the way it is regarded for cable, and the difference that 
would be for print? 

Attorney General Reno. I think so. 

Senator Burns. Now, to go back to this thing, and of course, we 
hear from our constituents at home that yes, something should be 
done. 

I am wondering, of all the groups in America — and we were talk- 
ing about it a while ago, the American Psychological Society or As- 
sociation, whatever their group is; and I am sorry, I did not pick 
up on that — do you know if they have gone to the broadcast indus- 
try or to the programmers, and sat down with those folks and said, 
**We have got a problem here, and we would like to work with you 
to come to some resolution"? 

Attorney General Reno. Senator, here is the report of the Com- 
mission on Youth and Violence of the American Psychological Asso- 
ciation, that met from 1991 to 1993, and it inaicates extensive 
hearings. I do not know the specific answer to your question. 

Senator Burns. It would seem to me that we get bombarded 
through the mail; and I am going to say, has the National Edu- 
cation Association, has the NEA walked m and said, ''We have got 
problems in our schools"; and said, "Broadcasters, progprammers, 



us 



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help 

Attorney General Reno. Senator, I do not think that is nec- 
essary; because frankly, the representatives of the industry came 
to me the other day and said, **We are not going to arg^e any more 
over whether there is a problem. If there is even a suggestion that 
there is a problem, we want to try to do something about it." I 
think we have passed that. 

Senator Burns. Well, I was wondering, because those gproups 
have a great deal of clout in their community, such as AFL-CIO 
and NEA, and those groups. It looks like as if they would come in 
to the broadcasters and the programmers, and would sit down and 
say, "We have got a problem, and we need to iron it out," that it 
could be done without anvbody even talking about, you know, pos- 
sible first amendment violation. 

Attorney General Reno. Well, the representatives of the indus- 
try, some of whom I have seen this morning, can correct me if I 
am wrong. But what they said to me when tney met with me is, 
they are already beginning to feel the pressure from throughout 
America because people do write and they are letting them know. 
They are letting them know what kind of content they want. 

What I have said since coming to Washington is that anytime 
you can sit down and discuss a problem and try to work out an ap- 
propriate solution, that is the best way to do it. 

Senator Burns. That is the way I would prefer it; but it may 
take other actions here. And of course, we all have to be sensitive 
about this situation. Thank you for coming this morning. 

Attorney General Reno. I would say this. Senator. If I had 
known how many times that they had come in and said, "We want 
to try to do better," I would like to have known that, so I could sav, 
"What did you do after this one? And what did you do after thatr 

Senator Burns. I would tend to agree with you. Thank you very 
much. 



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The Chairman. Very good. Let me, by record, apologize to Sen- 
ator Stevens. He is our valued member, very interested in this par- 
ticular subject; would be here, but he is also the ranking member 
on the Defense Appropriations and, with Senator Inouye, handling 
that bill on the floor. And that is why he could not be present. Sen- 
ator Dorgan. 

Senator Dorgan. Thank you very much. Attorney General Reno, 
thank jjou very much for your testimony. In June, you gave a 
speech in Boston that was reported in the Washington Post; and 
let me read the piece in the Washington Post: "She eot some of her 
heartiest applause when she called for a consumer boycott against 
companies that use violence to advertise their products." 

Senator Danforth. Do you generally feel that way? 

Attorney General Reno. Yes. I mean, that is what I was refer- 
ring to when I responded to Senator Exon. That is what I have pro- 
posed; because I was not in the position of making great legislative 
recommendations back in Miami. And I said, "I iust nave the sense, 
if the American people, if children throughout America started let- 
ting their voice be heard — like we used to with the March of Dimes, 
when we collected dimes and sent it off, and we were doing some- 
thing eood, and contributing — I think you would hear from an 
awfiu lot of children in America. And I think, to advertisers and 
to the industry, it is both important." 

I think one of the problems is again, however, in terms of cable, 
in terms of VCR's, in terms of the whole industry, it is going to go 
beyond that issue. 

Senator Dorgan. Let me demonstrate something here. If you be- 
lieve we should send a message to companies who use violence to 
advertise their products, that is a belief I share, and it is part and 
parcel of the legislation I have introduced to try to develop that in- 
formation, but let me demonstrate something to you, if I might. 

This is a room full of reasonably bright people, men and women 
probably much better educated than the country at large. Does 
anybody in this room have any information about which enter- 
prises, which commercial enterprises, which corporations in Amer- 
ica are sponsoring the most violence? Does anybody have any 
names or any evidence of who is sponsoring excessive violence on 
television? 

I am guessing no one does. I certainly do not, and that is the 

Eoint. If you believe and I believe that democracy starts from the 
ottom up, and we should send market messages to those who 
sponsor this violence in advertising their products, then we need to 
give people, give parents, give consumers information with which 
to act on that. There is no information available, and I think we 
have demonstrated that in this room. There is no information 
available. 

Concordia College is doing a demonstration project for me to de- 
velop a demonstration television violence report card, surveying 
300 hours, 1 week of television, to say which are the most violent 
programs and who is sponsoring them. That will be one demonstra- 
tion project for 1 week. 

There are a couple of organizations that have done this in the 
past on an occasional basis, but there is no information on a sys- 
tematic basis available to people to give them that information. 



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Now, let me make another point. Incidentally, I strongly share 
your view on that. When I grew up, and others on the panel, in 
the early days of television we watched Roy Rogers and Gene 
Autry, and they shot people. They were generally shooting bad peo- 
ple, and then they would stop to sing a few musical interludes, 
then they would get on their horse and shoot some more. But there 
is a different kind of violence these days on television, a pervasive, 
systematic violence, as Senator Simon described, about cutting peo- 
ple up with chain saws. 

Now, most of us deal with this not in the abstract. I have a 6- 
and a 4-year-old, and I am telling ^ou as a parent it is very hard 
to supervise children's viewing habits when in the middle of prime 
time and family time on networks we see increasingly violent tele- 
vision, television such that we often have to try to turn the tele- 
vision off. 

We do not quite know when it is coming, but we see something, 
we think, how can we deal with this? You turn the set off so kids 
do not see it at 7, 7:30 in the evening, and that is the problem. It 
is not that this stuff cannot be seen. 

I do not believe Government ought to say, "Here is what can or 
cannot be seen or said or broadcast." I do not believe in that, but 
I do believe there ought to be some safe harbor, some times when 
your children are not going to be exposed to this. 

This is not about people with dark suits kicking around others 
in Hollywood and in the arts who are producing. This is about try- 
ing to find ways that the mass media, the television, can be used 
constructively to also protect our children, and so you are challeng- 
ing in your statement today the industry, and you are saying to the 
industry, "Look, you need to do these things yourselves." 

You have said in your statement you would like the industry to 
do what I have suggested the FCC do in my legislation, create a 
listing of which are the most violent programs and who is sponsor- 
ing them. The weakness I see with that is that it is asking tne per- 
petrators to be the evaluators. 

But setting that aside, if after 40 years when the Senate had 
committee hearings across the country on this subject, and if after 
the last decade, when violence tripled, and if after seeing for 40 
years not much action to really respond to this question, if the in- 
dustry does not rise to challenge, what are the set of actions that 
might be available, in your judgment, for you to recommend that 
we respond to, or for us to respond? What are the set of actions 
if industry does not rise to your challenge? 

Attorney General Reno. As I suggested, if industry does not re- 
spond ana I think Senator Simon's date is a very good date — not 
just with how it would do it but with a monitoring capability for 
doing it — because it is going to have to do the report card anyway, 
or somebody else will have to do it — then I think all three pieces 
of legislation that are directly before you today represent very good 
initiatives and could probably be combined. We would be happy to 
work with you in trying to develop the most effective effort possible 
along with definitions, which I think will be one of the issues that 
must be addressed. 

Senator Dorgan. And you think the administration or the Attor- 
ney General might be prepared to be supportive of one or aH of 




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these pieces of legislation combined in order to address this, if the 
industry does not meet this challenge? 

Attorney General Reno. Yes. A^ain, I point out to you, though, 
you can do a lot in terms of reporting on cable, but you look at how 
VCR's have become also a pervasive force for entertainment, and 
there is no simple solution. 

The Chairman. The record should show that our colleague. Sen- 
ator Breaux, had to be at an important markup before Finance and 
is properly excused. 

Senator Kerry. 

Senator Kerry. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. General, 
thank you for your testimony and for calling attention, obviously, 
to your concern about kids, and I think you have done a good job 
of that in other respects. 

I am interested in a couple of things. I want to first of all clarify, 
you see no constitutional infringement at all in any of the proposals 
that are currently before the committee; is that correct? 

Attorney General Reno. The three bills we specifically looked at 
were Senate bill 1383, the Children's Protection from Violent Pro- 
gramming Act, Senate bill 973, the Television Violence Report Card 
Act, and Senate bill 943, introduced by Senator Durenberger. 

Senator Kerry. Right. Now, even with respect to a so-called safe 
harbor period, you see no limitations or infringements in the con- 
text of restricting what adults might see? I mean, there is a trade- 
off there. Is that a State compelling interest? 

Attorney General Reno. I think there is a sufficiently compelling 
interest, and I think Judge Stevens spelled it out in Pacifica. 

Senator Kerry. Now, here in Washington, if Jay Leno is not 
working for you you can switch quickly over to, I think it is chan- 
nel 5, and pick up cops running around with people at night, in- 
truding into homes, arresting people crying, all these kinds of 
things that seem to titillate. Why are cops being allowed to do 
that? I mean, there is an amazing amount of cooperation in the 
making of that. Why, if it is not good, are they permitted to allow 
these people to follow them into the homes and everywhere else? 

Attorney General Reno. That is one of the first issues I ad- 
dressed when I took office, because I had made it a practice to 
avoid such situations like that in Miami. I have taken steps to try 
to make sure that the Department complies with the thought that 
police, or at least agents of the Department, should not be involved 
in such efforts. 

Senator Kerry. I know you cannot mandate it with respect to 
our local police, et cetera, but have you taken some kind of step 
with the Police Chiefs Association and others around the country? 

Attorney General Reno. I have not addressed that with the po- 
lice chiefs. I am trying to address it with my own office first, before 
I start intruding my thoughts on other people. 

Senator Kerry. Now, I do not want to be the skunk at the picnic, 
so to speak, but a lot of questions have been asked about television 
violence, and indeed we are going to hear from some experts on tel- 
evision violence. 

I really applaud what you have said and your presence on this. 
Having the Attorney General of the United States front and square 
on this is important, and it has not happened previously, and clear- 



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50 

ly that makes a difference, but your gpreatest area of capacity to im- 

Fact all of this is really on the criminal justice system itself, and 
would ask vou if you are satisfied with the crime bill that has 
come before tne Senate. 

Attorney General Reno. We will see how it evolves. One of the 
things that I am committed to is to making sure that we get those 
community police on the streets in ways that can really help com- 
munities, that there is funding to go with it. 

I will tell you, Senator, that one of the most frustrating experi- 
ences in law enforcement in mv 15 years was to hear in big, bold 
headlines, "Senate authorizes $50 million for." Then I woiud call 
my Senators to find out in a couple of months what happened to 
the $50 million that had been authorized, and I was suddenly ad- 
vised that there was something called an appropriation that was 
different from an authorization, and I never understood that. 

One of the things that I am dedicated to trying to do is to make 
sure that anything the Department of Justice has anything to do 
with, when we say it is authorized, has money to go with it, and 
that I do not puff something that does not have the dollars behind 
it. 

Senator Kerry. Well, I know there is that concern, General, and 
I applaud you for underscoring the difference, but I want to im- 
plore you today — and I do it nicely, but I am going to say to you 
that this bill is totally inadequate, and it is inadequate partly be- 
cause the administration has not asked for resources. 

To have a shift to drug treatment and education which has no 
additional resources is not to be changing the equation, and we all 
know that if the administration is not there, asking for a certain 
amount of money, our appropriators are not going to struggle to 
provide it. There has got to be a joint effort. 

Now, I am not an appropriator. Sometimes I wish I was, some- 
times I am happy I am not, but you have mentioned most appro- 
priately — ^and I kiriow you care about these things. I know you want 
these things to happen. You have talked about cops on the street, 
about a comprehensive effort, about prison to boot camps, no ex- 
cuse if there is not any punishment, comprehensive prevention ef- 
fort, freeing teachers' time, programs for afternoon and evenings, 
about truancy prevention. 

We have got to prevent violence in America. We have heard peo- 
ple say we must do something about it, and thev see nothing beine 
done about it. I want to suggest to you respectmlly, this crime bill 
is not going to do it, and I am sorry to switch the subject to that, 
Mr. Chairman, but I think it is part of this response to violence. 

If we are only putting 50,000 cops on the street, and if you divide 
the $650 million by $45,000 average price of cops in the country, 
you will only get $15,000 a cop, so I am not sure how we get 
50,000, but I see it as a major problem. 

I hope in the next days — and I have been in touch with the 
White House on this. I hope in the next days we can work to come 
up with a crime bill that frankly is more responsive, so that we are 
doing our part. 

Attorney General Reno. Senator, I am somebody who watched 
the Federal Government talk a lot over the years about doing 
things, and talk about putting money into it. What they would do 



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was pass CETA acts that say you have to spend all this money 
within a certain period of time, and if you do not spend it, you lose 
it— or you have to spend all of this money in this way, and if you 
do not do it, you do not get it. 

I would invite you to sit down with us and tell us just how you 
want it designed. But most importantly, I invite you to sit down 
with police chiefs and with people in communities, with mayors, 
and others who are concerned, and listen to them tell how these 
moneys need to be freed up. 

The single most important thing that you can do, now that you 
have put your finger on this issue, is let communities use the 
money in ways that reflect their needs and resources — ^instead of 
micromanaging from Congress in an area where Congress does not 
know what community programs exist and what the needs are. In 
some communities you have communities that have spent money 
for police, in others they have not. In some communities they want 
the money for policing, in other communities they want it for some- 
thing else. 

I think the important thing is to take the vast billions that the 
Federal Government is spending, form a partnership with commu- 
nities and States throughout this Nation, make sure that the mon- 
eys are spent right the first time, and then let us start adding 
every dollar we can. 

If we do not now have enough prison cells in America to house 
the truly dangerous people, it makes no sense now for people in 
Florida to get out in 20 to 30 percent of the length of their sentence 
when you have a nonviolent first offender — who was not armed and 
who was a low-level participant in a drug deal — sitting there for 10 
years while somebody is getting out in 2. That is happening across 
the Nation. 

So, let us make sure our prison cells are used right the first time, 
for the truly dangerous. Let us make sure that our programs are 
designed for the juveniles. Let us work with State and local offi- 
cials to make sure the dollars are spent right, and then I will be 
with you every step of the way for more that is needed. 

Senator Kerry. Well, General, I would like to sit down with you 
in the next days. I would have— just last week I met with all our 
DA's and the police commissioner of Boston. I have been doing that 
for a long time. Like you, I am a former prosecutor, and I remem- 
ber what we had to prosecute with a few years ago. That has been 
grotesquely diminished. 

We have probation officers who cannot supervise kids, and you 
know that, we have intervention programs that cannot intervene, 
and we could in fact do these things. I do have a plan, and Senator 
Dorgan and I and Senator Kent Conrad and Mikulski and others 
have been meeting on this. It is going to require spending re- 
sources. But you know, we passed a $9.6 billion bill last year, and 
now we are only being asked to spend 

The Chairman. I would ask the distinguished gentleman to with- 
hold. You know, each member to his own taste. 

Senator Kerry. I understand, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. You know, we can talk about the crime bill or 
whatever alligator she wrestled. 



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52 

Senator Kerry. I think the reason I raise the issue, Mr. Chair- 
man, is because fair is fair. You cannot deal with TV violence if the 
system is not also responding. 

This is an issue of art imitating life and life imitating art In 
fairness here, we have got to do our part, too, and I raise me issue 
because I think it is time for us to take advantage of this focus on 
violence and have a real response. I would feel absolutely as if I 
were shirking my duty if I did not try to raise this thing to a dif- 
ferent tier of attention in the next few days with the crime bill 
coming up. 

The Chatoman. Well, you know better than I, we are limited 
here to the television violence. Senator Gorton. 

Senator Gorton. You have told us that in your view each of the 
three Senate bills before this committee will pass constitutional 
muster, and I must say that I agree with you. 

In that connection, in the memorandum I have here, there are 
also four House bills, one by Congressman Markey, one by 
Schumet, one by Kennedy, and one by Bryant. Have you also ana- 
lyzed those three for constitutional infirmities or validity? 

Attorney General Reno. We may have, Senator, but I would like 
to be more precise and make sure that I can accurately reflect for 
ou our findings. What we specifically addressed were the three 
ills that we were told would be the focus of this discussion this 
morning. 

Senator Gorton. Fine. I would appreciate your views on that 
There is one, the one by Congressman Bryant, that could have 
some constitutional problems. I think the others you will find to be 
easily constitutional. That was simply a prelude to the question I 
have. 

As I look over the seven of those bills, they fall into maybe three 
or four categories. One is just for another commission and a study, 
and so I think we can dismiss that one at this point. 

Some, including Congressman Bryant's and to a certain extent 
Chairman Hollings, deal with content, or at least content at a 
given time during the course of the day. Most of the others deal 
primarily with notice or with publicity. Senator Dorgan's does. Sen- 
ator Durenberger's does in a somewhat diflFerent fashion. The Ken- 
nedy bill in the House falls into that category, and one, Con^ess- 
man Markey, deals with technology, the so-called computer chip. 

You have testified generally in favor of the kind of content in 
each of the House proposals. I would be interested in any insights 
that you might have, assuming constitutionality, as to the relative 
value of these three kinds of approaches. 

Obviously, our goal is to reduce violence in our society, hoping 
that a reduction of violence on television would have that impact 
at least over the long range. 

If we could only go in one of these directions, if we could only 
secure consensus in one of these directions, would you tend to 
favor, you know, the publicity type of proposals which Senator Dor- 
gan has and which I gather Senator Danforth implied that he pre- 
ferred, notice provisions, would you want to go further and say 
something about content, or at least content in a given time period, 
as Senator Hollings does, or do you find something which empow- 



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53 

ers parents in the form of the Markey computer chip bill to be the 
one that you would feel to be most effective? 

Attorney General Reno. I think reporting is extremely impor- 
tant. As Senator Dorgan pointed out, many people do not know 
who is advertising what. And I think it would nave a very salutary 
effect if a prominent business in America was suddenly revealed to 
be significantly advertising violence on television. I think that that 
could work very effectively. 

At the same time, in terms of content during viewing hours, 
there are an awful lot of children who are not supervised. I still 
do not understand the technology of the chip, in terms of what it 
is going to exclude and what it is not. 

Senator Gorton. Well, let us presume it is totally effective; that 
it can exclude anything parents want to exclude. Let us assume its 
technological usemlness. 

Attorney General Reno. That could certainly have a salutary ef- 
fect. But I think a lot of the children that we are talking about are 
children whose parents are indifferent to the whole situation. 

Senator Gorton. Exactly. It empowers those parents who are 
probably already doing the best job. 

Attorney General Reno. That is correct. 

Senator Gorton. So, you would rank that No. 3, I take it, of 
these approaches? 

Attorney General Reno. I think there are an awful lot of very 
dedicated, hardworking parents who are working or who do not 
have the money for proper supervision of their children, and I 
think a chip could be veiy effective for parents who really wanted 
to try their level best. But then you have the situation, and I am 
not trying to complicate the issue, of the children that go next door. 

I can remember we used to— we lived so far out in the country 
we could not sneak off next door to watch the television, but we 
used to love to go to my grandmother's so we could watch the tele- 
vision. 

So, you are not going to have a control there. And I think that 
is the reason it is important, as Senator Simon suggests, that if im- 
mediate action is not taken, that we sit down and see what we can 
construct, recognizing all these possibilities. 

Senator Gorton. I thank you for that refreshing testimony and 
for the offer of help. But there is no question but that your views 
on this subject can have a very real influence on this committee. 

The Chairman. Very good. 

Incidentally, General Reno, the measures that Senator Gorton 
has asked about, they are not before the Senate, but he is correct, 
we are very much interested in them. And if you could review those 
bills and give us your opinion, we would appreciate it very much. 

Attorney General Reno. We will do so immediately, Mr. Chair- 
man. 

The Chairman. Very good. 

Senator Pressler. 

Senator Pressler. We very much appreciate your presence here; 
I think it shows great support, and I think it makes a big dif- 
ference. Following up on one of Senator Gorton's questions about 
the constitutionality of the various bills floating around, I under- 
stand that safe harbor regulations similar to those proposed by my 



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54 

colleague, Senator Rollings, have previously been struck down by 
the DC Court of Appeals. 

What has changed, or what makes vou think that the safe harbor 
period of time, would be constitutional? 

Attorney General Reno. I do not know which decision you refer 
to. Senator, and I will be happy to check that out for you and get 
back to you specifically. But tne decision we are relying on is the 
Pacifica decision. 

Senator Pressler. OK, yes. All right. 

I euess in this whole area there is a toujg^h line to be drawn. Re- 
cently, I had occasion to visit the women^ shelters in Sk>uth Da- 
kota, my home State. Violence a^inst women, and women who are 
forced to go into shelters are senous problems. If you were to make 
a movie or a television presentation — a true presentation about 
their lives — it would have to include a certain level of violence. 

When we are in Washington, DC, we live on Capitol Hill, and of 
course we read about the violence in the Nation's capital. If one 
were to make a movie about the life in a day of a person living in 
many neighborhoods of Washington, DC, it would probably have to 
include some violence. 

How do you see a line being drawn between showing what is ac- 
curately happening in our society and violence on television? 

Attorney General Reno. I think vou distinguish between enter- 
tainment and between news. I thinlc, as I have already su^ested 
to a number of members of the committee, definition will be one 
of the critical issues that would be faced in this situation. But I 
think it is possible to define the issue so that gratuitous violence 
that does not relate to any newsworthy issue is prohibited during 
the safe harbor hours. 

Senator Pressler. What responsibilities can individual citizens 
take in this area if the Government does not act? What can citizens 
do? 

I have already pointed out that, in my judgment, there is a lot 
of transferring of the blame on this issue. The same seems true in 
international relations. Whenever I travel abroad as a Senator, it 
seems in every country that we go to, die United States g^ts 
blamed for everything. 

This morning I had a meeting, in fact, and we were blamed for 
the violence in one country because we had not acted. I said, '^y 
word, how can that be? You know, the United States cannot be 
blamed for everything." 

On an individual basis, we also tend to want to blame any prob- 
lem on somebody else. It is true that if there are movies wiUi a lot 
of violence, many people go. They are voting when they buy the 
tickets. 

What can individuals do, meanwhile? Of course, parents can tell 
their children not to watch television or restrict their viewincf. But 
a friend of mine said his children watch Nickelodeon, all the old 
Ozzie and Harriet shows, but the ads that come on advertising Uie 
movies have a lot of violence in them. So, there seems to be no es- 
cape. 

What individual responsibility would you recommend people take 
if the Government does not act, or if tne television people do not 
act? 



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55 

Attorney Greneral Reno. You correctly note our tendency to 
blame someone else. But when it comes to children, you cannot 
blame that very small child, and so we have to look at those that 
surround them. Clearly, the parent that is concerned can make 
sure that they know what their child is doing. 

I remember my mother was building the house across the field, 
and she would walk back almost on an hourly basis to make sure 
of what we were doing, and she was not that far away from us. Or 
she would bring us over if we were not properly behaving ourselves 
and make sure that we played around where she was building the 
house. 

For parents who have to work, I think that rather than having 
two of the newest and fanciest cars, they could pay a little bit more 
for child care after school or in the evening. I tihink so many of us 
can volunteer in programs providing for after school and evening 
programs, in terms of both recreation and other ways. 

l^ere are so many things that we can do. I just think it is very 
important to reflect the positive. There are so many positive thin^ 
happening throughout America, particularly in communities, with 
poUce officers who are working on soccer teams after they get off 
their shifts, as coach of the soccer team; teachers who are spending 
extra hours after school to tutor a kid free of charge; youne busi- 
nessmen who are volunteering their time. There is so much that 
is happening. 

Children are so strong if we give them half a fighting chance. 
And I think if all of us recognize that we can make a difference 
in the lives of people we are responsible for; that we can do some- 
thing about it. 

There is a tendency, I think, to be a little overwhelmed; but I see 
more and more examples of American people saying, ''Wait a 
minute, I can control this. I can have a voice in what is going to 
happen." 

Senator Presslbr. Thank you very much. I see my time is up. 
I want to thank you for vour interest. I guess we all agree that 
there should be, and we nope there is, less violence. It is just a 
matter of how we accomplish that objective within our Constitu- 
tion, and also within things that are reflective of American society. 

Tliank you very much. 

The CHAmMAN. Thank you, Senator. 

Senator Mathews. 

Senator Mathews. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

General Reno, thanks for being with us today. I will try to be 
short, because I know that your time is quite valuable here. 

Let me begin by saying that there is no question in my mind that 
a displaying of violence on television to children of an impression- 
able age can be pretty devastating. I think it was CNN this morn- 
ing that recounted the two young men, one of whom was killed and 
the other one injured severely by pulling this trick of lying down 
in the middle of traffic while traffic was whizzing by on all sides. 
These are the type of things, I think, that the public is concerned 
about, you are concerned about, and this committee is concerned 
about— how do we cope with this violence without infringing upon 
the rights of people? 



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56 

I guess I want to come at it from a little different ang^e here, 
in the sense of if we are goine to do something about it, who do 
we hold accountable for that wnich is happening? Do we say to the 
networks you cannot broadcast anything that is violent? Do we say 
to the screenwriters, you cannot write anything that is violent? Do 
we say to the filmmakers you cannot make i^ Do we say to the 
cable networks you cannot transmit it? Do we sav to the advertis- 
ers you cannot support it? Or do we say to the public no longer can 
you watch it? 

I tend to, I guess, maybe side with Senator Exon a little bit when 
he raised the question that these industries are not in the business 
to lose money. If they were not making money, in terms of what 
they were doing, they would switch to something else. 

When we got to the point that we said pornography is not accept- 
able, we as a Nation stopped. I mean, we have prettv well driven 
it off the top of the table. I think we have reached the conclusion 
that nudity is not something^ that we want to be shown on tele- 
vision. We have dealt with that. It is there for those who want it, 
but it is not generally available for kids to watch. 

And I Ruess my question and the position I find myself in is who 
do we hold accountable? How do we go about it? Because the adver- 
tisers, I do not think we stop the problem with the advertisers as 
long as the people are watching and buying the product. 

Let me stop there for a moment. 

Attorney General Reno. Senator, I think we hold everyone ac- 
countable. We hold ourselves accountable when we buy something 
that regularly advertises violence. And Senator Dorgan's sugges- 
tion of letting people know who is advertising it might have a very 
salutary effect. 

I think we hold the entertainment industry responsible. I think 
we hold parents responsible. And I think we hola schools respon- 
sible, attorneys general and senators. We are all in this togeuier, 
and there is going to be no one key that helps to solve the problem. 

I would point out, though, that in terms of violence, there is 
something that we have got to understand, and it goes back to how 
you distinguish between what is news and what is entertainment. 
But the little examples of violence that I have seen always have 
somebody killed and nobody mournine. 

You do not know what it is like unless you have been a prosecu- 
tor for 15 years and watched survivor after survivor come in and 
describe the murder that took place before their eyes or talk to the 
little girl whose friend was shot right by her and understand the 
scars. And you never see that on television in terms of entertain- 
ment. 

I think that when it comes to something like violence, you have 
got to put it in the most realistic terms possible, and me show 
agony tnat it conveys. And I do not think we are doing that. 

So, we have got to hold everyone responsible. 

Senator Mathews. My general impression, I guess, that we, as 
a public, can turn it off when we get ready to turn it off. Appar- 
ently, we have not reached that yet. And in some way, w« are try- 
ing to kid ourselves, it appears to me, in that we want to deny our 
children the right to see something we think could be harmful for 
them, but we are not ready to take it off of television altogether. 



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57 

I mean I believe we have got to reach a different position in our 
minds. We have got to pinpoint either this is an acceptable medium 
or it is not acceptable. 

Attorney General Reno. Senator, it comes back again, though, to 
how mudi can you hold children responsible. My motlier always 
used to tell us when we got to be about 12 years old that we were 
old enough to be responsible for what we were going to do; and that 
she was going to hold us to it and we could not blame our parents. 

So, there reaches a certain point where you have to hold children 
responsible. But I think one of the critical, critical problems that 
we face in America today is that there are a whole, vast number 
of children that do not have parents either with the skills, the ma- 
turity, the wisdom, or the desire to really take care of their chil- 
dren and raise them the way they should be raised — nurtured, 
loved, guided, limited, and punished appropriately. 

And we see the results in so many different situations. I think 
that crime, drugs, teen pregnancy, youth gangs, dropouts — ^this 
whole pervasive youth violence that we see — are symptoms of 
America having too often forgotten and neglected its children. I do 
not think you were here in my opening remarks when I said tele- 
vision violence is just one small piece of a much larger picture. And 
the first thing I started with was making sure that our parents 
were old enough, wise enough, and financially able enough to take 
care of their children and that they had the will to do it. 

Senator Mathews. Thank you. 

I was not here. I was presiding from 10 until 11 o'clock this 
morning, and I apologize for not being present. But I am delighted 
that you are involved in this. I am delighted that you are finding 
these measures to be acceptable and ones that we can pursue. And 
I just want to pledge my supporting in working with you and with 
this committee here to get the job done. 

The Chairman. Very good. 

General Reno, we are very grateful for your appearance here this 
morning. And the record will remain open for further questions, if 
you do not mind. 

Thank you very, very much. 

Attorney General Reno. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. I am going to hasten along, because we have got 
another vote, perhaps, coming up. So, if we can keep it relatively 
calm while these folks come forward, please. Dr. Edward 
Donnerstein, professor of the department of communication, Uni- 
versity of California; Dr. Robert E. Gould, the chairman of the Na- 
tional Coalition on TV Violence; Ms. Catherine A. Belter, the vice 
president for legislative activity for the National Parent-Teacher 
Association; the distinguished actress, Ms. Lindsay Wagner, of Pa- 
cific Palisades; and Ms. Gael T. Davis, the president of the East 
Side Section of the National Council of Negro Women; and Dr. Paul 
J. Dovre of Concordia College. 

I am going to start as they are listed here. We have the prepared 
statements of the distinguished panelists, and they will all be en- 
tered in the record in their entirety. 

Dr. Donnerstein, and you can summarize and highlight it, please. 



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58 

STATEMENT OF EDWARD DONNERSTEIN, PhD., PROFESSOR, 
DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATION, UNIVERSITY OF CAU- 
FORNIA 

Dr. DONNERSTEIN. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, 
I am pleased to have the opportunity to appear on behalf of the 
American Psychological Association to discuss the status of re- 
search on the effects of televised violence. I am Dr. Edward 
Donnerstein, a psychologist and professor at the University of Cah- 
fomia. 

I have served on the American Psychological Association's Task 
Force on Television and Society, Surgeon General C. Everett Koqp's 
Task Force on Pornography, and during the last 2 years the Amer- 
ican Psychological Association's Commission on Violence and 
Youth. iTie primarv purpose of this most recent commission was to 
bring psychological knowledge to bear on the national problem of 
violence involvmg youth. 

Throughout our discussions as a commission, and the hearings 
which we held, there were many recurrent themes which tended to 
surface as factors related to youth violence. Concerns about drugs, 
gangs, weapons, as well as economic and political concerns were 
all, along with many other factors, raised by this investigation. 

Cutting across many of these factors was the involvement of the 
mass media, particularly television and film, in the development, 
maintenance, and facilitation of aggression among our youtn. The 
mere presence of violence in the media, the lack of nonviolent role 
models, the constant imaging of a society where the good life can 
and must be attained, and the media portrayal of aggression as a 
means to solve conflict were very much in the minds of many of 
the young people with whom we spoke. 

In many ways we should not be surprised at the su^ested rela- 
tion by these youth between exposure to the mass mema and sub- 
sequent aggressive behavior. It is one of those areas within the 
academic community that we have studied for decades. It is also 
one of those areas where there is a great deal of consensus, save 
a few, as to the direction, magnitude, and reasons for an associa- 
tion between the mass media and violence. 

Over the last few decades the academic community has produced 
exhaustive reviews of the best available evidence on the relation 
between exposure to violence in the media and aggressive behavior. 
These reports commissioned, for example, by the Surgeon General, 
National Institutes of Mental Health, and most recently American 
Psychological Association, Centers for Disease Control, National 
Academy of Sciences, have all been consistent in their conclusions. 
For the last 20 years there has been one overriding finding; the 
mass media are contributors to the aggressive behavior and, in par- 
ticular, aggression-related attitudes of many children, adolescents, 
and adults. 

In August of this year the American Psychological Association is- 
sued its report, which we have riven to your staff, John 
Windhausen. What did we conclude after our long and careful re- 
view of the research on media violence? 

One, nearly 4 decades of research on television viewing and other 
media have aocumented the almost universal exposure of children 
to high levels of media violence, which we have already heard 



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59 

about this morning. Television, however, is much different today 
than it was a decade ago. Today the average viewer has access to 
numerous proepram channels, including veiy specialized pay cable 
stations. In adfdition, the introduction of VuR's, video on demand, 
direct satellite broadcast, has also changed the types of media 
which we can now view in our own homes. 

It is obvious that children and adults are exposed to different 
types of programs on cable than that available on commercial tele- 
vision. Consequently, when we consider such issues as violence on 
television, it would seem appropriate to take into account the types 
of media individuals may be viewing beyond normal commercial 
television. 

Second, there is absolutely no doubt that higher levels of viewing 
violence in the mass media are correlated with increased accept- 
ance of agxpressive attitudes and increased aggressive behavior. 

Third, children's exposure to violence in the mass media, particu- 
larly at youne ages, can have lifelong consequences. Aggressive 
habits learned early in life are the foundation for later behavior. 

Fourth, in addition to increasing violent behavior toward others, 
viewing violence in the media changes attitudes and behavior to- 
ward violence in significant ways. Even those who do not them- 
selves increase their violent behaviors are significantly affected by 
their viewing of violence in a number of ways. One, viewing vio- 
lence increases fear of becoming a victim of violence. Two, viewing 
violence increases desensitization to violence, resulting in callous 
attitudes toward violence directed at others. And three, viewing vi- 
olence increases viewers' appetites for becoming involved with vio- 
lence. 

The fifth conclusion we reached as a commission was that in ex- 
plicit depictions of sexual violence, primarily in R-rated films, mes- 
sages aoout violence against women appear to affect the attitudes 
of adolescents about rape and violence toward women. Films that 
depict women as willingly being raped have been shown to increase 
men's beliefs that women desire rape and deserve sexual abuse. 
Male youth who view sexualized violence or depictions of rape are 
more likely to display callous attitudes toward female victims of vi- 
olence, especially rape. 

Finally, the effects of viewing violence can, in fact, be mitigated. 
Children can be taught critical viewing skills by parents and m the 
schools, so they can learn to better interpret what they see in tele- 
vision. 

In summary, from our review of the research literature, the 
American Psychological Association Commission on Youth And Vio- 
lence was confident about certain effects of viewing violence in the 
mass media. 

One, there is increased violence toward others. Two, there is in- 
creased fearfulness about becoming a victim of violence. Three, in- 
creased callousness toward violence among others, and four, in- 
creased self-directed behavior that exposes one to further risk of vi- 
olence. From this review, the American Psychological Association 
report did suggest a number of policy recommendations which are 
attached to my statement. 

Finally, relevant to today's hearings, our commission did agree 
with the chairman that programs depicting excessive violence 



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60 

should not be shown during child viewing hours of 6 a.m. to 10 
p.m. 

Thank you for this opportunity to offer this testimony today. 

[The prepared statement of Dr. Donnerstein follows:] 

PREPARED Statement op Edward Donnerstein, Ph.D. 

Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I am pleased to have the oppor- 
tunity to appear on behalf of the American Psychological Association to discuss tfafi 
status of research on the effects of televised violence.! am Dr. Edward Donnentdn, 
a psychologist and F^fessor of Communication at the University of California-Santa 
Barbara. Ihave served on the American Psychological Association's Task Force on 
Television and Society, Suiigeon General C. Everett Koop's Task Force on Pornog- 
raphy, and during the last two years the American Psychological Association's Com- 
nussion on Violence and Youth. The primary purpose of this most recent commission 
of the American Psychological Association was to bring psychological knowledge to 
bear on the national problem of violence involving youth. 

Throu^out our discussions as a Commission and the hearings which we held, 
there were many recurrent themes which tended to surface as factors related to 
youth violence. Concerns about drugs, gangs, and weapons, as well as economic and 
political concerns were all (along with many other factors) r&ised for investigation 
oy this commission. Cutting across many of these factors was the involvement of 
tne mass media, particularly television bind film, in the development, maintenance, 
and facilitation of aggression among youth. The mere presence of violence in the 
media, the lack of nonviolent role models, the constant imaging of a society where 
'Hie good life" can and must be attained, and the media portrayal of aggression as 
a means to solve conflict were very much in the minds of many of the young people 
with whom we spoke. 

In many ways, as psychologists, we shouldn't be suiprised at the suggested rela- 
tion by these youth between exposure to the mass media and subsequent aggressive 
behavior. It is one of those areas within the academic community that we have stud- 
ied for decades. It is also one of those areas where there is a great deal of consensus 
(save a few), as to the direction, magnitude, and reasons for an association between 
the mass media and violence. 

Over the last few decades the academic community, particularly psydiology, has 
produced exhaustive reviews of the best available evidence on the relation between 
exposure to violence in the media and aggressive behavior. These reports commis- 
sioned, for example, by the Surgeon General (1972), the National Institutes of Men- 
tal Health (1982), the American Psychological Association (1992), the Centers for 
Disease Control (1991), and the National Academy of Science (1992), have all been 
consistent in their conclusions. For the last twenty years there has been one over- 
riding finding * * * the mass media are significant contributors to the aggressive 
behavior an<C in particular, aggression-related attitudes of many children, adoles- 
cents, and adults. 

In August of this year the APA Commission on Violence and Youth issued its re- 
port. What did we conclude after our long and careful review of the reseanch on 
media violence? 

1. Nearly 4 decades of research on television viewing and other media have docu- 
mented the almost univeraal exposure of American children to high levels of media 
violence. It is generally accepted thlit children watch on the average of 2-4 hours 
a day of television. By the time a child leaves elementary school they would have 
seen 8,000 murders and more than 100,000 other acts of violence. As they near the 
end of their teenage years they have been witness to over 200,000 violent acts with- 
in the media (Huston et al., 1992). This fisure would actually increase with more 
exposure to Cable Premium channels or VCR use of R-rated films. Television is 
much different today than it was a decade or so ago. 

Today the average viewer has access to numerous program channels including 
very specialized "pay cable" (e.g. HBO) stations. In addition, the introduction oT 
VCR's, video on demand, and direct satellite broadcast, has also changed the types 
of media whidi we can now view in our own homes. It is obvious that children and 
adults are exposed to different types of programs on cable than are available on 
commercial television. Some of this content would be considered positive (i.e. e^- 
cational and cultural programs), while others mi^t be considered to present nega- 
tive impacts (i.e. more graphic violence). VCR access also presents its own problem 
vnth regard to material now available to children to which they would not otnerwise 
be exposed via commercial television, cinema, and perhaps even cable. Con- 
sequently, when we consider sudi issues as violence on TV, it would seem appro- 



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priate to take into aooount the types of media individuals may be viewing beyond 
normal commercial television. 

2. TPiere m absolutely no doubt that higher levels of viewing violence in the mass 
media m corrdated with increased acceptance of aggressive attitudes and increased 
aggressive bduwior. In addition, prolonged viewing of media violence can lead to 
emotional desensitization toward violence. 

3. Children's exposure to violence in the mass media, particularly at young ages, 
can have lifelong consequences. Aggressive habits leamea early in fife are the foun- 
dation for later behavior. A^Kressive children who have trouble in school and in re- 
lating to peers tend to watch more television; the violence they see there, in turn. 
reinforces their tendency toward aggression. These eflects are both short-term and 
long-lasting. 

4. In addition to increasing violent behaviors toward others, viewing violence on 
television changes attitudes and behaviors toward violence in significant ways. Even 
those who do not themselves increase their violent behaviors are significantly af- 
fected by their viewing of violence in three ways: 

• Viewing violence increases fear of becoming a victim of violence, with a result- 
ant increase in self-protective behaviors and increased mistrust of others; 

• Viewing violence increases desensitization to violence, resulting in calloused at- 
titudes toward violence directed at others and a decreased likelihood of taking ac- 
tion on behalf of the victim when violence occurs (behavioral apathy); and 

• Viewing violence increases viewers' appetites for becoming involved with vio- 
lence or exposing themselves to violence. 

5. In explicit depictions of sexual violence, primarily in R-rated films, it is the mes- 
sages about violence against women that appear to affect the attitudes of adolescents 
about rape and violence toward women. In its 1992 report on televised violence, the 
APA Task Force on Television and Society addressed tne concerns of sexual violence 
in the media This report and other recent inquiries into media violence have begun 
to consider the implications of exposure to sexually violent materials due to the op- 
portunities for exposure to such materials within the confines of R-rated cable or 
VCR viewing. Sexual violence in the media includes explicit sexualized violence 
against women including rape, images of torture, murder, and mutilation. 

THlms that depict women as willingly being raped have been shown to increase 
men's beliefs that women desire rape and deserve sexual abuse. Male youth who 
view sexualized violence or depictions of rape on television or in film are more likely 
to display callousness toward female victims of violence, especially rape. Laboratory 
studies also have shown an increase in men's aggression toward women alter expo- 
sure to violent sexual displays, as well as increased sexual arousal. In addition, re- 
search indicates that these attitude and arousal patterns may have some relation- 
ship to actual "real world" aggression toward women (i.e., Malamuth, 1986). Two 
issues are important, however. The first is that these effects seem to occur for those 
who already nave certain calloused attitudes about rape. Second, these effects can 
occur without any sexual content. In other words, it is tne violence or message about 
violence which is important, not the sexual nature of the materials. 

Finally, we would speculate that stronger effects might be expected for younger 
viewers because they lack the critical viewing skills and the experience necessary 
to discount the myths about women and sexual violence. To a young adolescent who 
is searching for information about sexual relationships, sexual violence in popular 
films may be a potent formative influence on attitudes toward sexuality. A young 
teenager's first exposure to sex may come in the form of a mildly erotic but violent 
movie such as a slasher film. This film would not be restricted because it did not 
cany an X-rating. It could easily be rented at a video outlet or found on a late-night 
cable station. 

6. The effects of viewing violence on television can be mitigated. Children can be 
taught "critical viewing skills" by parents and in schools so that they team to better 
interpret what they see on television. For example, children can learn to distinguish 
between fictional portrayals and factual presentations. In addition, children can be 
taught to recognize ways in which violence is portrayed unreal istically (e.g., when 
it is portrayed without any negative consequences). Children can also learn to think 
about alternatives to the violence portrayed, a strategy that is particularly effective 
when an adult viewing the violence with the child expresses disapproval of violence 
as a means of solving problems and then offers alternatives. 

In summary, from our review of the research literature, the APA Commission on 
Youth and Violence was confident about certain effects of viewing violence in the 
mass media. 

1) increased violence toward others 

2) increased fearful ness about becoming a victim of violence 

3) increased callousness toward violence among others 



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4) increased self-directed behavior that exposes one to further risk of violence 

From this review the APA report did suggest a number of policy recommend 
tions. Three that are relevant to today's hearing are as follows: 

Recommendation 1: We call upon the Federal Communications Commission to r 
view, as a condition for license renewal, the programming and outreach efforts ai 
accomplishments of television stations in helping to solve the problem of youth vi 
lence in America. 

Recommendation 2: We reconmiend that an educational campaign involving tel 
vision progranmiing, supplemented with educational outreach activities for parent 
educators, and health care providers be developed and implemented to help soh 
the problem of youth violence in America. 

Recommendation 3: The Film Rating System should be reexamined with an en 
phasis toward that which is 'harmful" to children rather than that which mi^t I 
offensive to parents. A stronger consideration needs to be placed upon violent an 
sexually violent content in the assignment of ratings, as well as providing for tl: 
viewer more information of the kind and scope of violence present. Along these san 
lines, the video rental market needs to be more in harmonv with even the presei 
rating system. Easy access by young adolescents to R-rated graphically violent vi< 
eos undermines the meaning of the R rating. This rating indicates that childrc 
under 17 are "restricted" from such films unless accompanied by a parent or guar 
ian. Such restrictions are rather uncommon within the video market. 

Thank you for this opportunity to offer this testimony today. Please feel free 
caU upon me or Dr. Brian Wilcox of the APA if you have further questions durii 
your aeliberations. 

The Chairman. Very good. Ms. Wagner, would you — we would fc 
glad to receive your statement now at this time. 

STATEMENT OF LINDSAY WAGNER, PACIFIC PALISADES, CA 

Ms. Wagner. Some of what I have to say will be, of course, re 
dundant, because I am very pleased to hear — first of all, I want tc 
thank you for allowing me to come and speak my piece today. 

The Chairman. Move that microphone a little bit closer first, 
please. Yes, thanks. 

Ms. Wagner. I have this problem in my business too. 

I want to thank you for allowing me to come and speak my piece 
today, and I am also very happy to hear that what I am — some ol 
what I have already decided to say is going to be redundant. So, 
that makes me very happy because it is clear that a lot of you are 
aware of things that have been painful to me throughout my entire 
career. 

I am here today first as a mother and second as a member of the 
industry being discussed. Intuitively as a parent, walking down the 
street with your child of 4 or 5 or 3 or 7, you look across the street 
at a safe distance, let us say, and a man is beating another man 
or a woman. Would you say "Oh, look, honey, this should be exdt; 
ing," or do you grab your child and turn his head away? You wouk 
instinctively shelter your child's vision. 

Why? I mean instinctively we know this is wrone^. Intuitively we 
know this. We are living in a culture today which knows that pair 
control, winning at sports, being successful at work, remembering 
people's names, and even healing are being accomplished throud" 
visualization, through seeing the desired outcome in our mindi 
over and over again, reading it from a piece of paper that is tackec 
on the wall or stuck in a desk or on the refrigerator. "I enjoy beinf 
slender and fit"; it works. 

If as hardened adults our lives can be aflFected so strongly bj 
positive input even twice a day for a few months, how can we ever 
entertain the thought that violent images, violent responses, vio- 



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lent solutions to situations going into a child's open formulating 
mind anywhere from 10 to 40 times per day would not create simi- 
lar respodses or fear of the world or fear of tomorrow, thereby dic- 
tating certain attitudes and behaviors? 

Now, I admit that censorship is very risky business. However, I 
feel that the flip side of that very coin is what we are dealing with. 
We are not dealing with art for expression's sake. We are not deal- 
ing with a soapbox in a park. We are not dealing with communis 
theater— or even an open — truly open forum for news. The news is 
as competitive as anything else. What we are dealing with is big 
business, as many of you luive already pointed out, whose main olv 
jective is to turn people's heads and to sell products. 

The response to sensationalism and adrenalin addiction, as I call 
it, truly is a weakness in our society that is a primary tactic used 
to get ahead in our business. Because the TV has become one of 
the most powerful influences in our society, it has become increas- 
ingly competitive. And they are all running so fast that while try- 
ing to keep up---no one really knows how to take a stand, I think, 
on this issue without the fear of being run over. And as a result, 
our children are suffering and our future is being highly impacted. 

With power comes responsibility. And sadly, after 23 years in 
this business, I am losing my sense of optimism, and I am here 
with you today who are reflecting the same feelings. I feel there is 
a ne^ for immediate and hopefully temporary imposing of regulat- 
ing measures on the behalf of our children, to help our business 
find a better balance between competition and humanness, such as 
Senator Boilings is proposing. A safe time, a safe harbor, a peace- 
ful place to grow up and then do whatever weird things you want 
to do when you are truly responsible for your own life. 

And lon|^-term measures which will impact change from within 
in our busmess which are reflected in other ideas that I have been 
hearinjg today that I have only been recently, I mean 24 hours ago, 
becoming aware of what is going on here. I am learning about it 
here today, what other ideas are on the table. 

And I am thrilled and I am happy to be here, and I encourage 
you all to keep doing it I absolutely agree that our parents need 
to be educated. We need to know that as a public we can be affec- 
tive, people do not know that, they do not know that they have any 
power. I think people watch many things by default, but they do 
not feel that they have anything to say about it, and I think that 
needs to be changed. 

I have a lot to say, but thankyou anyway. 

The Chairman. Very good. Thank you very much, Ms. Wagner. 
Dr. Gould. 

STATEMENT OF ROBERT GOULD, M.D., CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL 
COALITION ON TELEVISION VIOLENCE 

Dr. Gould. Mr. Chairman and committee members, I am Dr. 
Robert E. Gould, Professor of Psychiatry, New York Medical Col- 
lege, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in private practice specializ- 
ing in family and adolescent psycniatry. And I am also current 
president of the National Coalition on Television Violence. 

I have been involved and concerned with the problem of violence 
for 40 years in my roles as senior psychiatric consultant to the New 



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64 

York City Board of Education; director of adolescent psychiatry, 
NYU Bellevue Medical Center, where one-quarter of our patients 
were referred by the courts; director of family life division, Metro- 
politan Hospital; research psychiatrist on two multidisciplinary 
proiects of NIMH and Fordham University, 5 years each, on drug 
addiction and juvenile delinquency. I also served as the staff p^- 
chiatrist for the New York State Commission, the McKay Commis- 
sion, studying and reporting on the causes of the 1971 riots in At- 
tica Prison. 

I feel privileged to be here to comment on the proposed bills con- 
cerning television violence. The position of the National Coalition 
on Television Violence, along with other organizations, is, and it 
has been stated very clearly before, that violence is the No. 1 public 
health issue facing America today, and that television plays a 
major role in contriouting to the magnitude of the problem. 

It is a relief and a pleasure to note that the Senators writing 
these bills have accepted the fact, and fact it is, that repeated view- 
ing of violence results in desensitizing the viewer, who becomes 
more accepting of violence and more apt to behave aggressively as 
the way to cope with problems, conflicts, and frustrations. This is 
especially true for children, who are more suggestible and vulner- 
able to environmental influences than are adul^. 

The irrefutable evidence of the baleful effects of television vio- 
lence will be contradicted or derided by primarily one group, some 
die-hard television industry officials whose main concern is ratings 
at anyone's cost, so as to fatten the dollar bottom line, and violence 
does sell. I would like to offer some answers to the anticipated 
challenges that these bills will face. 

No. 1, there is so much violence in our society and with so man^ 
purported causes — poverty, lack of educational and job opportuni- 
ties, domestic violence, physical or sexual abuse of children, peer 
pressure of fighting gangs, neighborhood instability — ^all contribut- 
ing to the likelihood of violence, how do we know that TV violence 
plays a role? 

All reputable studies done by the American Medical Association, 
the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological As- 
sociation, NIMH, NCTV, among others, for 35 years controlling for 
the variables contributing to violence — ^have targeted TV as a mcgor 
contributor to the culture of violence. 

No. 2, these bills lead to censorship. This is ironic and perverse 
since for bills S. 943 and S. 473 the reverse is true. One calls for 
video and audio warnings that the programming to follow contains 
violence or unsafe gun practices and may adversely affect the men- 
tal or physical health, or both, of the viewer. The other bill pro- 
f)oses to evaluate, rate, and publicize TV programs for levels of vio- 
ence and name the sponsors and advertisers of such programs. 

This is the very opposite of censorship. Rather, these bills offer 
truth in packaging, giving the viewer more knowledge about the 
product offered so that a better informed public can decide if it 
wants to turn the program off or not allow the child to watch — ^par- 
ent control, I trust, wHl not be regarded as censorship— and if uiey 
want to protest to the sponsor of violent shows or boycott the ad- 
vertised commercial proauct. The cry of censorship is heard if the 
labels should reduce the number of viewers and thus the advertis- 



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65 

infi[ rates. Tipper Gore took a bad rap from rap artists and record 
inaustiy officials when she wanted labels on records in which the 
lyrics encouraged such acts as rape and cop killing. With a media 
explosion of violent products, it is totally unreasonable to expect 
parents to be able to monitor all the movies, records, TV programs, 
and video games in our midst without some nelp. 

No. 3, children know the difference between make believe, such 
as cartoons, and reality, and so are not really affected by fantas- 
tical cartoons. The fact is that children are often confused about 
what is real and what is make believe. A full appreciation of reality 
is not seen in 4-, 5-, 6-year-olds, sometimes not until 8 in many 
children. 

Just a week s^ we read of the tragedy of a boy, 5, who started 
a fire that killedhis 2-year-old sister imitating an MTV cartoon — 
Beavis and Butthead, as we well know the names now — which pro- 
moted burning as fun. Another episode showing a character setting 
fire to another s hair by using a match to ignite* spray from an aer- 
osol can encourage children to use this technique, and it caused 
personal injury and house damage. 

At an industrywide leadership conference on violence in tele- 
vision proCTamming held in California August 2 of this year, indus- 
tvy officials maintained that there was no harm to children if they 
were aware that the cartoons were not reality. This not only misses 
the point, it misses the whole dimension of the pemiciousness of 
portraying violence as funny and entertaining. By making it fun 
and games, such programs make violence even more acceptable, 
and uiey do little to inhibit a child's own propensity toward vio- 
lence and an awful lot to enhance it. So, there occurs a further de- 
sensitization and acceptance of violence as natural and even good. 

First grade children, after being told a Tom and Jerry cartoon 
that they would see was not reality — ^was divided in two sections, 
one, it had the violence left in it and the other saw the cartoon 
with tlie violence deleted. They were told that this was make be- 
lieve, not real, and both groups were put in a room together to 
play. Those that saw the violence in tact were the more pushy, ag- 
gressive, hairpuUing, and bullying. It happens over and over £^;ain. 

The CHAmMAN. Dr. Gould, can you summarize the rest of it? We 
are running out of time here. The entire statement is included in 
the record. 

Dr. Gould. Well, a fourth point is that violence is cathartic. That 
is, it makes it easier not to act violently when you see it. And we 
know that it is the opposite, that it is infectious and also con- 
tagious. And the more violence one sees — as in a sporting event; 
the more violence occurs in the stands. 

I would just say that the first two bills are certainly ones thai 
can only help in every way. The third bill that Senator Hollings 
has put forth I think we have to seriously consider if the labels and 
itie warnings and the publicizing of the worst procnrams, do not 
work. Then I think, since this is an epidemic and it does make our 
children very vulnerable to be aggressive and violent and accepting 
of violence around them we may need legislation. If we have le^f * 
lation to control excessive air pollution, I am saying that the aiX 
in our living rooms is polluted by what comes out of the televisioO 
sets, and if the TV networks do not control it voluntarily and tb^ 



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66 

first two bills, S. 943 and S. 473 are ineffective, then Senator Hoi- ^ 

lines' bill must be entertained very seriously to preserve the health :>i 

and our welfare of our society. ^ 

[The prepared statement of Dr. Gould follows:] ^^^ 

Prepared Statement op Robert E. Gould, M.D. c=^ 

Mr. Chairman and committee members — I am Dr. Robert E. Gould, Professor of .0t 
Psychiatry, New York Medical Collese, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in private ji ^ 
practice specializing in family and aofolescent psychiatxv and President/Chainnan of ^^ 
the National Coalition on Television Violence. 1 have been involved and concerned n^ 
with the problem of violence for 40 vears in my roles as senior osychiatric consult- \r^ 
ant to the New York City Board of Education; Director of Adolescent Pavchiatiy, li^ 
N.Y.U.-Bellevue Medical Center where one-quarter of our patients were referred by l,s^ 
court; Director of Family Life Division, Metropolitan Hospital; Research Paychiatrist 4 
on two multidisciplinary projects of NIMH — ^Fordham University — 5 years each— on ifl 
Drug Addiction and Juvenile Delinquency. I also served as the staff psyv^atrist for -^ 
the 14. Y. State Commission (Mckay Commission) studying and reporting on the * 
causes of the 1972 riots in Attica Pnson. '} 

I feel privileged to be here to comment on the proposed bills concerning televisioi^ i 
violence. The position of the National Coalition on Television Violence, along wii^ 
other organizations, is, and it has been stated very clearly before, that violence i^ 
the No. 1 public health issue facing America today, and that television plays a majc^ 
role in contributing to the magnitude of the problem. 

It is a relief and a pleasure to note that tne Senators writing these bills have aiC?' 
cepted the fact, and fact it is, that repeated viewing of violence results in desensiti^ * 
ing the viewer, who becomes more accepting of violence and more apt to behave b^' 
gressively as the way to cope with problems, conflicts, and frustrations. This is esp^^' 
cially true for children, who are more suggestible and vulnerable to environment^*-^ 
influences than are adults. 

The irrefutable evidence of the baleful effects of television violence with be contra*- * 
dieted or derided by primarily one group, some die-hard television industiy oflicial- ^ 
whose main concern is ratings at anyone's cost, so as to fatten the dollar bottorr^ 
line. And violence sell. 

1. There is so much violence in our society and with so many purported causes — - — 
poverty, lack of educational and job opportunities, domestic violence, i>hysical or se>J >^ : 
ual abuse of children, peer pressure of flghting gangs, neighborhood instability— a -» 
contributing to the likelihood of violence, how do we know that TV violence pla^^ ^ 
a role? 

All reputable studies done by the American Medical Association, American Pa^*^' 
chiatric Association, NIMH, NCJTV among others, controlling for the variables, ha^r*^^ 
targeted TV as a maior contributor to the cultural violence. 

2. These bills leaa to censorship. This is ironic and perverse since for bills S. 94 ^ 
and S. 973 the reverse is true. S. 943 calls for video and audio warnings that itm^'^ 
progranuning to follow contains violence or unsafe gun practices and may adverseL .^f 
affect the mental or physical health, or both, of the viewer. S. 973 proposes to evali^^-' 
ate. rate, and publicize TV programs for levels of violence and name the sponsor*"^ 
ana advertisers of such programs. This is the veiy opposite of censorship. Rathe^^> 
these bills offer truth in packaging, giving the viewer more knowledge about th^^^ 
product offered so that a oetter informed public can decide if it wants to turn th«^^ 
program off or not allow the child to watch (parent control, I trust, will not be r^ " 
garded as censorship), and if they want to protest to the sponsor of violent show ^ 
or boycott the advertised commercial product. The cry of censorship is the ay of th^^ 
pocketbook if the labels reduce the number of viewers and thus the advertising^ 
rates. Tipper Gore took a bad rap from rap artists and record industry oflicials whetf^ 
she wanted labels on records in which the lyrics encouraged such acts as rape an^ 
cop-killing. With a media explosion of violent products, it is totally unreasonable t^? 
expect parents to be able to monitor all the movies, records, TV programs, and vide^' 
games in our midst. 

3. Children know the difference between make-believe (such as cartoons) and re- 
ality, and so are not really affected by fantastical cartoons. 

Tiie fact is that children are often confused about what is real and what is make- 
believe. A full appreciation of reality is not seen in 4-, 5-, 6-year-olds, sometimes 
not until 8 in manv children. Just a week ago we read of the tragedy of a boy, 5, 
who started a Are that killed his 2-year-old sister imitatin£[ an MTV cartoon "Beavis 
and Butthead" which promoted burning as fun. Another episode showing a character 
setting fire to another s hair by using a match to ignite spray from an aerosol can 



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67 

encouraged children to use this technique causing house damage and personal in- 
juiy. Tliese are more than isolated cases. At an Industrywide Leadership Conference 
on Violenoe in Television Profframming held in California August 2nd of this year 
industry ofiBcials maintained that there was no harm to children if they were aware 
that the cartoons were not reality. This not only misses the point, it misses the 
whole dimension of the pemiciousness of portraying violence as funny and enter- 
taining. By tnalring it fun and games such programs make violence even more ac- 
cef^Die, would do little to inhibit a child's own propensitv toward violence and an 
awfiil lot to enhance it. Something portrayed as funny and meant for children must 
be abrid^it. So, there occurs a furaier desensitization and acceptance of violence as 
natural and even good. First grade children, after being told a Tom and Jerry car- 
toon they were to see was not reality, were divided into two grouos, one seeing the 
cartoon with the violenoe left in it and the other with ad the violence deleted and 
then both groups were put in a room tc^ther to play. Those that saw the violence 
intact were the more pushv, a|pgressive, hair pulling, and bullying. 

4. Violenoe can be a cathartic and so by viewing violenoe one is relieved of behav- 
ing violently. This may be true in rare instances, but in the vast majority of situa- 
tions it is just the opposite. Violenoe is contagious and infectious. What vou see be- 
comes part of you and is incorporated in oattems of behavior. One need only note 
that at any sporting event where violenoe breaks out in the arena as in basketball, 
footbaU, hockey, or soccer one sees more violenoe in the stands. 

The Children's Protection From Violent Programming Act of 1993 (S. 1383) may 
evoke a stronger protest of censorship since it actually proposes to restrict violent 
programming during hours that children are likely to oe watching TV, although 
those hours are not specified in the bill. 

We at NCTV are veiy concerned about first amendment rights and would hope 
to avoid leffislation that tells the TV industry when it can present certain programs. 
We would iioi>e that the labelling of programs with violent content and the ratings 
of the most violent shows naming their sponsors wiU be effective in reducing the 
amount and degree of violenoe in TV programming. The eflectiveness of the labeling 
and ratings thou^ are not assured. Parents must be better educated and their con- 
sciousness raised as to the harmfiilness of TV violence to their children (and them- 
selves). Even so, with parents working and out of the house, leaving the room or 
otherwise being engaged or distracted, it may not be realistic to expect good super- 
vision in many households. We are preparing a proposal to add to the school cur- 
riculum methods of empowering chiloren to b^me more skilled critical viewers and 
to learn why television violence is harmful to them. But this will not occur over- 
ni^t. It remains to be seen just how much change these measures will effect. 

NCTV has been labelling TV programs from cartoons to prime time series, rap 
music, and movies hoping to enable parents to be more selective in their TV viewing 
for themselves and their children and to be vocal in support of pro-social programs 
and even toore vocal in making their disapproval of programs known to sponsors 
and TV networks when they deem them harmful and unacceptable for their living 
rooms. We only reach a few thousand directly through our membership, but we send 
newsletters and press releases to the media, newspapers, radio and TV stati9ons of 
our findings, but we do not reach the numbers that the FCC will by labelling and 
rating TV programs on the air for all to see. Their reach to millions of viewers we 
hope Mrill make a real difference in TV programming and viewing. 

Should the results of these efforts be disappointing, then the clear and present 
danger of the epidemic of violenoe requires stronger measures since continued harm 
to the victims of violence and the incalculable harm to the spiritual, emotional and 
mental health of all who are exposed to the poisonous doses of violence that TV 
sends into our homes cannot be tolerated. An antidotes to this poison would be bill 
S. 1383, limiting violence during hours children are likely to be watching television. 
The pollution of the air we breathe has resulted in anti-pollution legislation to pro- 
tect our health. Legislation restricts sales and ingestion of alcohol, druffs and ciga- 
rettes in the service of protecting the Nation's health. This is not called censorship 
and so as the air in our living rooms is polluted by programs glorifying and sanitiz- 
ing violence and promoting it as a way to resolve differences and conflicts, we must 
act to protect those most vulnerable, the children, from being infected by the virus 
of violence which they will only spread. This may be deemed as one of the most im- 
portant public health measures our Government can institute for the welfare of our 
society. 

Adults who may need their violence fix, can still obtain it at other hours, on all 
TV stations, or through video outlets, premium and pay per view programming, and 
the like. 

We commend the Senators for proposing these very important bills to address a 
health epidemic of the first magnitude. 



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68 

The Chairman. Very good, sir. Thank you. f 

Ms. Belter. | 

STATEMENT OF CATHERINE A. BELTER, VICE PRESIDENT FOR ^ 
LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY, NATIONAL PARENT-TEACHER ASSO- 
CIATION 

Ms. Belter. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I am 
Catherine Belter, and I am vice president for the National PTA in 
the area of legislative activity. I also happen to be a parent, whicK 
is how I got involved with the PTA to begin with. And so the group 
I represent is a diverse group of almost 7 million members, who ar^ 
parents or teachers or citizens. And, basically, we are concerned. 

And I appreciate the fact that this distinguished body is address — 
ing this issue of violence on television; in particular, programming^ 
targeted to children, which is a major issue for us. 

Tne frustration that we feel is the fact that we have been coming" 
before committees such as this since 1973, when we talked about^^ 
the need for quality programming for our children. It is an issue 
that I think, in 1983, when my children were young, I thoueht-^ 
would be taken care of in a couple of years; that we were all in Ais 
together. I hate the feeling that sometimes occurs when you come 
to sessions like this, that it is we and they and us, and who is in 
this. 

I think what we have to remember as we sit here today and ad- 
dress this issue, that we talk about parental responsibility — and I 
will get to that — ^but what we really have to address, as all of us, 
is society's responsibility to its children. Whether you are a parent 
or nonparent, those are the people that are the issue today, the 
children of this country. 

The PTA recognizes, though, that there are a number of causes 
related to the violence in the society that we are experiencing. And 
we do not want to make the media the social scapegoat However, 
as we look at what is going on, we find that television is more vio- 
lent than ever before, and offers fewer opportunities for education 
and family viewing — something that they could do wonderfully if 
they put their minds and hearts to it. 

We believe that the television industry must assume responsibil- 
ity for helping parents and the community by reducing the amount 
of violence on the screen. And I want to reiterate that parents are 
taking a lot of responsibility — not all, but a majority of them. Those 
parents that can are trying to monitor their children's television. 
But as we heard our Attorney General say, not every home has 
that monitoring aspect, and your child can go next door, across the 
street, go home with buddies from school, and things are opened 
up to them that they might not have in their own home. 

I think we also have to be realistic that not all parents can do 
this. We also have very young parents, who are basically children 
themselves, and they possibly do not understand the linkage that 
has been pointed out by the experts in the field. 

In our testimony, we have a lot of the statistics, which you all 
have already related, too, which the people at this table have also 
spoken to. So, I will not go into that. But be aware that those are 
the things the PTA uses when we go around and we speak to our 
members. 



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69 

And I think what has hit me as I have traveled in many of our 
States to speak to our members is that if there is one issue that 
parents are coming together on — and with almost 7 million mem- 
bers, we are diverse, l^lieve me — it is this concept of violence and 
what do vou do. And they do not feel empowered. They make tele- 
phone calls, but they do not know what is happening. 

We were excited when the Television Violence Act of 1990 was 
passed. We supported tliat. We said we are on the road; something 
is going to happen. We got information out to our membership. We 
said, watch this. And here we come back, 3 years later, and we find 
ourselves talking to you about prime time mayhem and industrial 
guidelines which are so general they appear even weaker than be- 
fore. 

We are concerned. The frustration level is growing. I know you 
hear from your constituents. Let me tell you some other things the 
PTA is doine to try to help with this issue of critical viewing skills, 
because we believe we have a responsibility to that. 

In Utah, the PTA there has been working for over 2 years. They 
have developed curriculums which will now be used in some of the 
schools not only with parents' understanding of critical viewing 
skills, but to give that to the students. 

This coming January, the Florida State PTA will join in a part- 
nership with the Florida Department of Education. And during the 
week of January 10 to 14, they will be monitoring television snows 
from 3 to 11 p.m., on six major networks, ABC, CBS, Fox, MTV, 
and Nickelodeon. They will use a survey, which we have attached 
to this presentation. So, you can see the type of areas within the 
shows they are going to be looking at. They have designated dif- 
ferent types of violence to be as specific as possible. 

Then the information will be compiled, and the report will be for- 
warded to the FCC, the State and Federal lawmakers, and the ap- 
propriate telecommunications committees, the networks that they 
monitored, and the media. The intent of all of this is to provide 
consumer information about how violent-free or how violent-ridden 
each of the networks is. 

This is an example of where parents are going to give up their 
time and perhaps learn something, too, because we do not watch 
all the shows our children are seeing. We hear things, and then we 
get nervous, and then we start to tune in. 

The National PTA has always been concerned about the first 
amendment rights, and we have always encouraged, therefore, that 
voluntary measures be undertaken before Government interaction. 
But now we are not too sure that that can continue. 

We hope that there will be some efforts on the part of the indus- 
try to respond to the concerns and the issues here. We would rec- 
ommend a single piece of legislation that would incorporate the fol- 
lowing provisions, and it encompasses many of the things in the 
bills on the table today: 

That the FCC commence immediately a series of hearings and 
town meetings around the country to hear the concerns of parents 
and other citizens about television violence and their recommenda- 
tions for improvements; that an independent commission or the 
FCC, with input from the community, through a public comment 
period, develop a set of national television violence guidelines that 



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70 

should be the criteria used to evaluate and rate television pro- 
grams; the FCC or a commission shall establish a television vio- 
lence report card, similar to the one envisioned in S. 973. 

We would also ask the immediate establishment of an 800 num- 
ber at the FCC to hear complaints from parents and others about 
television violence. We support the development of national tele- 
vision violence criteria by the FCC or an independent agency and 
after that, the FCC shall require television stations to rate thai 
own shows that contain violence based on the quantity of violence 
and the quality of violence, in terms of how graphic and lethal th. 
violence is. 

For those programs high in violence based on the violence cri 
terion guidelines, the television station must be required to flasi 
a warning label across the screen. For those programs with less vi 
olence, a parental advisory should be mandatory. 

The FCC should maintain a list of advertisers, if we can ever ge: 
that together, as has been discussed, that sponsor shows widi ex: 
cessive violence. Parents should have the information about the ad 
vertisers who are violence-free and do not sponsor violent televisior 
programs during children's waking hours. FCC regulations to re 
quire television stations to set aside, at a minimum, 1 hour of tele 
vision programming per day for children's programming that it 
educational and informational. Television can do wonders in tlios< 
areas, as I said before, and we have got to use the media appro 
priately. 

Amend the FCC regulations to require warning labels on tele 
vision ads that advertise violent theme products, such as look-alik< 
guns, martial arts weapons, and violent video games. Televisioi 
stations should be required to carry PSA's, giving the communit] 
information about the implementation of the Chilaren's Televisioi 
Act, which has, again, been something that we were supportive o 
and excited about. 

With all of these, though, we do not think it is a one-way street 
We have a responsibility as an organization, as do others, to mak( 
sure that the television viewing skills of children, get to be a litth 
bit more sophisticated than they are now. And we have talkec 
about ways that we can do that. 

We believe, though, that if the television networks do not re 
spend to the above steps by reducing violence targeted at all chil 
dren, there will be great pressure, then, to look at passage of S 
1383. The fact that a bill to ban violence targeted at children is in 
troduced by a Senator keenly aware of the constitutional minefields 
should give the industry pause that Congress is serious about a na 
tional television violence policy for children. 

We have, as I said, been concerned about first amendment rights 
We were very interested and glad that we were here to hear Attor 
ney General Reno's comments on that. That certainly is a hurdle 
And her response to that, we are going to welcome. We think thai 
the key to reducing violence is one of cooperation between all par 
ties involved. And we sincerely hope that this will be something 
that everyone will take to heart and make it a priority. 

We have violence in our society that we are not comfortable with 
We do not know how we have got there. Parents — and I will just 
close on this statement — I had one parent say to me, I looked back 



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71 

and all of a sudden there is violence on television in the last few 
years. She said, "How did we get there? Why did we get there? 
Who said that is what we wantr^ 

Now, I know the industry will respond by saying that is how the 
advertisers get Uieir money. The people are listening and tuning in 
to the prMprams. If we have to make a show, two versions, as was 
stated earner today, one for America with violence, one for overseas 
that is not as violent, maybe it is time to give us a chance to try 
out the nonviolent show and see if we like it. 

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and members of the com- 
mittee. 

[The prepared statement of Ms. Belter follows:] 

Prepared Statement op Catherine A. Belter 

Mr. Chairman and members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation 
Committee. I am Catherine A. Belter, National PTA Vice-FVesident for Legislative 
Activity. The National PTA is comprised of almost 7 million parents, teachers and 
other diild advocates concerned about improving the quality of television program- 
ming for children,»youth and families. The National PTA thanks the distinguished 
diainnan of this committee and long-time PTA friend for the opportunity to testify 
on b^alf of various Senate bills regarding violent television programming targeted 
at diildren, including S. 943, the Children's Television Violence Protection Act; S. 
973, the Television Violence Report Card Act; and S. 383. the Children's Protection 
from Violent Progranmiing Act. I also thank Senators Paul Simon, Kent Conrad, 
Byron Dorgan and David Durenberger for their commitment to dealing with TV vio- 
lence. 

I oome before this committee as one of a procession of many National PTA rep- 
resentatives as far back as the 1970's who have petitioned Congress and the regu- 
latory agencies about the need to provide more Quality television programming for 
dulclren and youth. Since 1973 the National PTA has communicated our concerns 
to Congress, Federal agencies, and the television industry. Unfair advertising di- 
rected at children, the advertising of products injurious to children's health, the 
drarth of age-8i>ecinc and quality TV programs for children and families, cartoon- 
length conmiercials, and the eflects of television watching on children's academic 
penormance and emotional health are all issues of paramount importance to the 
National PTA. 

I also come before this committee, not as a legal expert or a researcher but as 
a parent and a long standing child advocate who snares with other parents and citi- 
zens the frustration of years of attempting to influence children's television pro- 
gramming while not wishing to cross tne nne lines of our First Amendment free- 
doms. 

The National PTA recognizes that there are a number of causes related to vio- 
lence in our society such as, the change in the family structure, poverty, unemploy- 
ment and drug related crime, and that there is a danger of using media violence 
as a social "scapegoat" However, the fact remains that television is more violent 
than ever before and ofTers fewer opportunities for education and family viewing. 
The television industry must assume responsibility for helping parents and the com- 
munity by reducing the amount of violence on the screen. 

Many parents do make every effort to monitor their children's television viewing. 
For these children parents are able to carefully scrutinize the family's electronic bill 
of fare. But for some children, TV acts as the remote control baby-sitter and as a 
surrogate parent. With television in 96 percent of all American households, this me- 
dium does affect the attitudes, the informal education, and the behavior of our chil- 
dren. In a Rushnell Company survey commissioned by children's television expert 
George Gerbner, it was found that in 1980 the three maior networks combined were 
showmg 11 hours of educational shows per week, but by 1990 such programming 
had diminished to less than two hours per week. Yet, there was more non-edu- 
cational programming targeted at children than ever before. Programming such as 
the current fare of Saturday morning cartoons, X-Men, the Simpsons and Beavis 
and Butthead are far from educational and constitute the mainstream of our chil- 
dren's TV diet. 

Through our members, we have found that there is no one single issue that pre- 
occupies parents more than the low quality of television that many believe contrib- 
utes to a violent society. The statistics related to a child's exposure to TV violence 



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is indeed alarming. For instance, a November 1991 study by the Annenberg School 
of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania showed that the average num- 
ber of violent acts in one hour of diildren's television broadcasting was 32. This is 
even more than on prime-time TV which had only 4 acts of violence per hour. A 
1993 American Psycnological Association study showed that the typical child will 
watch 8,000 murders and more than 100,000 acts of violence before finishing ek- 
mentaiy school. By the age of 18, the same teenager will have witnessed 200,000 
acts of violence, including 40,000 murders. According to the Journal of the American 
Medical Association (JAMA), by 1990 the average American child, aged 2 to 5 years, 
was watching over 27 hours of television per week. Many of these diildren are un- 
able to distinguish fact from fantasy in TV programs, and believe that what they 
are seeinfl is entirely factual, notwithstanding adult explanations and interaction. 
Many of tnese TV experiences leave strong impressions. 

The numerous studies and statistics that link watching TV violence and aggres- 
sive behavior in children are by this time well-known in the policy making realm. 
However, would like to reiterate some of the more disturbing findings. John P. Mur- 
ray and Barbara Lonnberg have over the years collected hundreds of research stud- 
ies which show three possiole efTects of viewing TV violence on young people: 1) chil- 
dren may become less sensitive to the pain and sufTcring of others; 2) they may be 
more fearful of the world around them; and 3) they may be more likely to behave 
in an aggressive or harmful way toward others. 

Parents and other citizens are angry about these circumstanoesll Many people feel 
powerless to make changes by themselves. They know that whHe industry oflicials 
hide behind the cloak of the First Amendment, someone is making program deci- 
sions about children's television, and it is frequently not them. They know that ac- 
cording to the Federal Communications Commission Act of 1934, thev own part of 
the airwaves, but the industry acts as if the airwaves are privatized. Finally con- 
cerned citizens and organizations are again seeking help from Congress. 

The passage of the Television Violence Act in 1990 was a window of opportunity 
providing a glimmer of hope. As you know, the Act was a compromise between the 
industry which was restricted by antitrust provisions to develop TV violence guide- 
lines, and those, including the National PTA, who were supportive of Senator Paul 
Simon's measured approach and wanted industry-wide eflorts to use voluntary 
means toward reducing television violence targeted at children and families. It was 
our hope that the industry would take advantage of the anti-trust exemption, and 
begin to curb violent programming. Yet three years later, we find ourselves back be- 
fore Congress talking about prime-time mavhem and industry guidelines which are 
so general that they appear even weaker then the existing standards used by each 
of the networks in the 1970's. And lastly, the guidelines do not seem to be naving 
anv effect. While we recognize CBS's establishment of a 1-800 line for parents to 
caU in complaints, industry inaction has created a cynicism among parents that the 
industry is not much interested in reducing violence, and that responding to the 
needs of children is not as important as responding to the Nielsen ratings. 

In the past, the industiy has been critical of governmental action, alleging instead 
that it is the parents' responsibility to monitor their children's TV watohing. The 
National PTA agrees that parents share this responsibility as stipulated by its 1989 
position which states ""that the National PTA urges its members to observe and 
monitor TV programming and commercials in their areas; and, where an excessive 
amount of violence in programming is seen, to make known their views with docu- 
mented reporting This is nappening around the countiy. Let me tell you about a 
joint project between the Florida State PTA and the Florida Department of Edu- 
cation. During the week of January 10-14, 1994 from 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm, PTA vol- 
unteers all over Florida will monitor television programs on six designated net- 
works: ABC, CBS, FOX, MTV, and Nickelodeon. The viewers will use a short survey 
Instrument to record the incidences of violence on the programs they view. The news 
will not be monitored. The final report will be forwarded to the FuC, state and fed- 
eral lawmakers and the appropriate telecommunications committees, the netwoiics 
monitored and the media. The intent of this efTort is to provide consumer informa- 
tion about how violent-free or how violent-ridden each of the networks is. This is 
only one example of many where parents are coming together to monitor TV and 
exercise their rights under the Children's TV Act. I have included a copy of the rat- 
ing sheet that will be used in this project with this testimony. 

Further, the National PTA's legislative position on TV violence stipulates that the 
'National PTA supports federal legislation and regulations to ui^e the broadcasters 
to reduce children's exposure to programs depicting violence." It also says that the 
'National PTA demand from networks and local stations a reduction in the cmiount 
of violence shown on television programs and commercials during the entire day. 
with particular attention to viewing hours between 2:00 pm and 10:00 pm ana 



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73 

wedKod momiiig haura," and If the self-regulation of programming and oonuner- 
dalB by the bioadcasting industiv does not result in better TV programming with 
kfli emphasis on violence, that the FCC establish and enforoe regulations limiting 
the munber and percentage ofprograms of violence to be presentedeach day." 

In addition, the National FTA has encouraged the means, either voluntsjy or via 
Spvenunent action, whidi orovide psT^nts and other consumers maximum informa- 
tioa about the program ana adverUsingoontent that children are susceptible to. For 
eiBinple, a few years ago the NationalFTA ioined with Tipper Gore and the Parent 
Music Resource Center in working with tne record industry to voluntarilv label 
recnrds and tapes that used offensive and violent language. Currently the hfational 
FTA is urginff the passage of SAFE, the Sensible Advertising and Family Education 
Ad, wfaidi wul require rotating health and safety messages on all alcohol print and 
Inwdnst advertisements. Iifore directly related to the issue before this committee 
I the National PTA has been working with Senator Kent Conrad and other organiza- 
tions on a petition campaign to demonstrate the number of parents and other com- 
nmnity members that want TV violence reduced. The result of this campaign will 
soon be presented to the industry. But this is only one step. The time for further 
action is nere. Parents around the country are demanding quick and decisive moves 
to reduce the amount of violence on TV and keep the pressure on the industry to 
provide better family and children's programming. Witn an approach that empha- 
sizes the com|denty of the issue, we all need to oevelop strategies around a multi- 
faceted framewoik and the federal government must help. This multi4aceted frame- 
woik should include an omnibus response by the Congress combining a number of 
leddative initiatives including S. 943 and S. 973. 

The National PTA recommends a single piece of legislation that incorporates the 
following provisions: 

1. That the FCC commence inunediately a series of hearings and town meetings 
around the oountiy to hear the concerns of parents and other local citizens about 
TV violence and their reconmiendations for improvement. The hearings shall be 
televised and carried on interactive TV, and the records from these hearings shall 
be printed for public distribution in the Federal Register. 

2. That an mdependent commission or the FCC, with input from the community 
throuflAi a nublic conunent period develop a set of national TV violence guidelines 
that uiould be the criteria used to evaluate and rate TV programs. This commission 
or the FCC shall establish a TV Violence Report Card program, similar to the pro- 
gram envisioned in S. 973. 

3. The immediate establishment of an 800 number at the FCC to hear complaints 
from parents and other citizens about TV violence. Complaints should be logged, 
and reported publicly on a quarterly basis. 

4. Ailer the development of national TV violence criteria by the FCC or an inde- 
pendent agency, the FCC shall require TV stations to rate their own shows that con- 
tain violence based on the quantity of violence (in terms of acts per show) and qual- 
iW of violence (in terms of how graphic and lethal the violence is), whether the over- 
all message is pro- or anti- violence, and how gratuitous the violent acts are. 

5. For uiose prosrams that are high in violence based on the violence criteria and 
guidelines, the TV station must be required to flash a warning label across the 
screen. For those programs with less violent content, a parental advisoiy should be 
mandatory. Both should include an audio voice over about the violence in the pro- 
granuning. 

6. The FCC should maintain lists of advertisers that sponsor shows with exces- 
sive violence. In addition, parents should have information about the advertisers 
who are **violence free* ana as policy, do not sponsor violent TV programs during 
children's watching hours. The FCC shall this release this information on a periodic 
basis publicly via press releases, agency announcements, the Federal Reaister. and 
throum child advocacy and consumer organizations. 

7. Amend the FCC regulations to require that TV stations to set aside at a mini- 
mum one hour of TV programming per day for children's programming that is edu- 
cational and information. 

8. Amend the FCC regulations to require warning labels on TV ads that advertise 
violent-themed products such as look-alike guns, martial arts weapons and violent 
videoffames. 

9. In addition, TV stations should be required to cany PSAs giving the commu- 
nity information about the implementation of the Children's Television Act, and 
ideas about how to assure that local stations are meeting their telecommunications 
obligations to children and youth. 

To complement the above initiatives which would require legislative action, non- 
profit organizations such as the National PTA, must also assume responsibility to- 
wards improving the television viewing habits of children. Workshops and informa- 



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74 

tion on TV monitoring and critical viewing skills should be provided for parents to 
assist them in determining appropriate television fare for their children. 

We must also be realistic. There aro manv children and youth whose parents may 
not monitor television for them, and therefore will not be affected by consumer in- 
formation. The broadcasters must be involved in and supportive of the proposed leg- 
islation. We believe that if TV networks do not respond to the above steps by reduc- 
ing violence targeted at all children, there will be great pressure to pass S. 1383, 
the Children's Protection from Violent Programming Act. The fact that a bill to ban 
violence targeted at children is introduced by a Senator keenly aware of the con- 
stitutional minefields should give the industry pause that the Congress is serious 
about a national TV violence policy for children. Indeed, there is precedent for the 
government to regulate harmful products directed at children such as the child por- 
nography laws, advertisements directed at children which are deceptive and unfair, 
and the broadcast of vulgar language, nudity and sexual descriptions. However, we 
have a concern about the government regulating speech, except as it protects the 
interest of the public and children as stipulated by Section 326 of the Federal Com- 
munications Act of 1934. The FCC Act of 1934 stipulates that the network airwaves 
belong to the public, and that they can be regulated by the public. 

The issue for the National PTA at the present time is how to do that constitu- 
tionally without censoring, but at the same reducing the amount of violence targeted 
at children. Clearly, one of the keys to avoiding the First Amendment thicket is to 
reach a definition of violence that is clear, concise and not overly broad to be under- 
standable to networks and produoere. The other key is to specify times during the 
day for violence reduction which will decrease judicial objection that the scope of the 
bill is unnecessarily broad. S. 1383 has been introduced and its implications should 
be taken seriously. 

The dioices are clear. On one hand, the public will not tolerant business as usual 
from the networks. Studies, reports, and delays are a thing of the past. Increased 
TV violence, a TV industry unresponsive to the pressure for change, and research 
that links violent TV with nonsocial behavior of children are all dynamics that wiU 
create an environment that seeks more reactionary resolves. If the networks resist 
public demands through consumer information to change does not work, S. 1383 will 
undoubtedly be the next step. 

The National PTA thanks the chairman and this committee for the opportunity 
to testify. 



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PARENT RATING SIIKE I FOR 1 KLEVISION VIOLENCE 
Ike followiiif infomialion to rale one of your child's Iclevbion programs Tor violence. 

_ Date and Time Viewed 

«Clty_ 
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Network 



Program: 30min 

argct Audience: Children. 



. or Local Prograra_ 
.twobrs Animated yes no 



_ Teemagers Adults General 



Violence Rating Table 
ccurrence of a violent act, indicate in a box the codes that best describe the victim: 
f-male C-child A-adult W-white B-black AS-Asian N-Na(ive American IMIIspanic O-Other 
pie Victims AN-Anlm«l NA-Not Applicable, or not a case of aggressor vs. victim 



Vith Weapon I fwc 1 mba I rov I I I I I I I | | | 


tn 11 inddfiiti occur during thcpnjgrtm. mark twQ mridfnti w fjich box m nwdfrf. 


of VSdcrtce 


1 


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^rbal or rtij'iical 
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nXrd SeiuiJ 


























iial narastoicnt 


























Rape 


























or Punch 


























II Figlil 


























%itn Over bj 

'rhkle 


























^Uh W tip OR 


























IlilwkhtbArp , 
:t or knife 


























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> Pcnon Shot 


























f DeJlntciion 

























eveloped by the Florida PTA and the Department of Education, Betty Castor, Commissioner) 

HAERMAN. Yes, thank you very much, Ms. Belter. 
e yield to Senator Dorgan to introduce the next witness. 
)r DoRGAN. Mr. Chairman, let me introduce Dr. Paul 
^ho is the next witness. 

ovre is not only a distinguished academician, but he is 
t of Concordia College. We had put together in our region 
; to develop a television violence report card project simply 
nstrate that what I am asking the FCC to do can be done. 
)vre told me this morning, when they called for volunteers, 
nted 70 students for a 3-hour training course and then to 
th evaluators. They needed 70 students, and when they put 
little notice for volunteers, 120 students showed up. That 
terest in what they are doing. 



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76 

In about 6 weeks, we will have a demonstration of what I want 
the FCC to do from Concordia College. They stepped forward and 
volunteered to coordinate this project, and I, on that basis, asked 
if he could be a witness today. And I am delighted that Dr. Dovre 
is here. 

The Chairman. We are delighted to have him. 

Dr. Dovre, your statement, in its entirety is here; let us see if 
you can summarize it in the 5 minutes for us, please. 

STATEMENT OF PAUL J. DOVRE, PRESIDENT, CONCORDU 

COLLEGE 

Dr. Dovre. Mr. Chairman, Senator Dorgan, distinguished Sen- 
ators, I am here today to testi^ in support of S. 973 on behalf of 
myself and 120 students and several faculty colleagues from 
Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, where I serve as president. 

I am here because we are concerned about television violence, 
and we have made plans to do something about it. I want to de- 
scribe briefly both our concerns and our plans. 

Our support for S. 973, sponsored by Senator Dorgan, is based 
on two premises. First, we are concerned about the extent and im- 
pact of television violence already well chronicled by previous wit- 
nesses and familiar data. 

If a Are started in the kitchen of our home, we would not wait 
for the flames to reach the living room before we raised an alarm. 
But in the case of violence on television, we have done just that. 

In consumer product areas, from ketchup to cranberry juice, from 
aspirin to automobiles, from airline schedules to mortgage con- 
tracts, we make sure that labels inform potential consumers about 
the nature and content of the product. But in the case of television 
programs, citizens do not have effective reliable information to as- 
sist them in monitoring what their children may see or the choices 
they make for themselves. 

It is time, we believe, to change that state of affairs. 

The second reason for our support for this legislation is found in 
the mission of our college, which is to influence the affairs of the 
world by enabling students to be ethically reflective, intellectually 
competent, and personally responsible citizens. Because of their 
convictions in these matters, 120 of our students and several mem- 
bers of our faculty have initiated a demonstration project to docu- 
ment the level of violence on television and to test a ratine system 
of the sort that Senator Dorgan has envision in his proposed. 

A remarkable thing, as you have heard, about this project is that 
while only 70 student volunteers are required for the rating exer- 
cise, 120 students have volunteered. 

The first goal of this project is to establish that ordinary citizens 
with modest training are capable of documenting television vio- 
lence. The second goal is to make these results available to this 
committee as you consider S. 973. The third goal is to make the 
results available to area citizens and, thus, empower them to make 
thoughtful, informed decisions about television viewing. 

Our student volunteers will utilize a scoring^ method adapted by 
Dr. Mark Covey of our faculty from the method used by the Na- 
tional Coalition on Television Violence. Student attitudes will be 
ascertained before and after they participate in the rating exercise. 



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Following a 3-hour training session, volunteers will be rating 96 
hours of prime time television programming from the week of Sep- 
tember 28 throuj^ October 4, 1993. 

Each student will rate a 3-hour segment, and each segment will 
be rated by at least two students working independently. Sponsors 
will be identified in die process. 

This study will not rate sexual content, verbal abuse, or profan- 
ity; only phvsical violence. This project does not purport to be a de- 
mitive study of television violence; rather, it is a demonstration of 
the viability of a citizen-based ratine system. 

I believe it is morallv and socially correct to empower citizens 
with the information uiey need to make informed decisions for 
themselves and their families, and the information they need to 
play a greater role in influencing the dominant media in our cul- 
ture. 

For that reason, I support S. 973 and am proud to represent my 
student and faculty colleagues who have initiated this demonstra- 
tion project. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

[The prepared statement of Dr. Dovre follows:] 

Prepared Statement op Dr. Paul Dovre 

Mr. Chairman, distinguished Senators, committee stafT members, leaders of the 
television industry and all others interested in this important issue: 

My name is Dr. Paul Dovre, President of Concordia College located in Moorhead, 
Mfainesota, and I am here to testify on behalf of Senate Bill S. 973 which would 
nquire the Federal Communications Commission to evaluate and publicly report on 
theviolenoe contained in television programs. 

This leffialation was introduced by &nator Byron Dorgan from our neighboring 
state of North Dakota. It is an attempt that we at Concordia feel is long overdue, 
to curb the images of murder and mayhem that are brought into our homes nightly 
over the public airways. Helping with this congressional effort fits perfectly into the 
mission of our oollese. 

Concordia is a four-year liberal arts institution of the Evangelical Lutheran 
Church in America, serving a student body of about 3,000. Over the past 102 years, 
we have a proud tradition of preparing voung men and women for a life of service, 
with the goal of influencing the arfairs of the world. 

In keeping with this mission, Concordia was anxious to have our students become 
involved in lending a hand to Senator Dorgan in developing and implementing a 
demonstration project on TV violence. 

The first step was to meet with concerned groups of citizens across North Dakota 
to get their input on how the project should proceed and what its goals should be. 
Key educators, leaders of parent groups and others involved in abuse counseling and 
the legal system met in sessions at Fargo and Bismarck to discuss the legislation. 

The citizen groups decided a study confined to well-defmed acts of physical vio- 
lence was the most appropriate. They agreed that rating one week of* prime-time 
network programming, along with Saturdav morning network cartoons, was the 
most useful and practical survey sample. The citizen groups also determined that 
student volunteer raters would offer several advantages in guarding against bias 
and providing a diverse sample of backgrounds and viewpoints. 

Using Concordia's existing television studio facilities, we have videotaped the one- 
week prime-time network sample along with the network Saturdav morning chil- 
dren's programming. It amounts to 96 hours of television sent into American homes 
during the week orSept. 28-Oct. 4, 1993. This ''snapshot" of the television industry 
will now be scrutinized through a scientific survey led by Dr. Mark Covey, associate 
professor of psychology at Concordia. 

He has adapted a scoring method developed by the National Coalition on Tele- 
vision Violence, and he means to give us an objective measurement of the amount 
of violence contained in this sample week of television, along with the names of the 
ocMnmercial sponsors for each program. It is the same kind of TV violence report 
^ eurd Senator Dorgan calls for in his legislation. 



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Each hour of television will be viewed by two volunteers, rating independently, 
to minimize any bias or rating error. This is where Concordia students ¥all play an 
important role, since they will form the main volunteer pool for this project. They 
come from a diverse background, representing 43 states and 30 nations. 

'nie3r bring to the project only the opinions they have formed over a lifetime of 
television viewing. The students will be given a three-hour training session to learn 
how to recognize and classify acts of physical violence. The study will not rate sex- 
ual content, verbal abuse or nrofanity. 

Each volunteer will view three or four hours of progranuning using a score sheet 
developed by Dr. Covev. Measures will be taken to ensure scorers are not reviewing 
programs they normally watch in their everyday viewing. If there is substantial dis- 
agreement between the two volunteers watching each program, a third rater will 
score the tape. 

The volunteers will be Jjiven a survey at the conclusion of the project to determine 
how their participation atlected their opinions about television violence. 

At the conclusion of the project, in late November, we will produce a ratinff docu- 
ment that we feel will be a nighly valuable tool for television viewers, especially par- 
ents of young children. Each program during the week will be given a violence score 
based on the weighted ratings in the measurement instrument. 

We plan to disseminate tne results of our stud^ to parent and education groups 
as well as through the news media. Concordia will produce a' video documentation 
of the project in an effort to help grouos understand how the project was conducted 
and what the results mean. This is, after all, a project to empower television view- 
ers with information. 

It is important to note that this is not meant to be a definitive study on television 
violence. Concordia College's role is to demonstrate that this type of survey can be 
done without great expense or bureaucracy. The study serves as a laboratory model 
and also an expression of the interest in this issue at the grassroots level. 

For this fact is at the heart of our demonstration project and this legislation: 
study after study over nearly 40 vears of television show that violence on TV can 
and does have an effect on real life. To claim otherwise is to deny the efiectiveness 
of the dominant marketing tool in our society. Just ask any advertiser whether tele- 
vision is effective in persuading or influencing an audience. 

How pervasive is violence on television? Studies show by the time American chil- 
dren complete elementary school, they have witnessed 8,000 murders and 100,000 
acts of violence on television. B}^ the time they reach the age of 18, they have wit- 
nessed 40,000 murders on television. It is estimated there are some 1 ,800 scenes 
of violence during a typical broadcast day. And the American Academy of Pediatrics 
reports that prime time violence tripled during the 1980s. Indeed, surveys indicate 
72 percent of^ Americans think television entertainment shows contain too much vio- 
lence. 

The Concordia study — and this legislation — does not advocate rules that would 
ban violence from publicly broadcast or cable television. It is simply meant to quan- 
tify the violent content of the shows by an objective measurement, and to put that 
information into the hands of viewers. 

Viewers would also be given the names of the sponsors of each show, which would 

S've them two kinds of power they do not currently have as television consumers, 
iven a violence rating, viewers can know ahead of time whether eadi show is the 
type they and their children wish to watch. And they will also have the power to 
make their wishes known to the commercial sponsor as a form of economic pressure. 

Concordia's goal is to enable students to develop as thinking, feeling, caring, ethi- 
cal human beings. We seek to give students the knowledge, methods, attitu£s and 
discipline they will need for a lifetime of service in a changing world. 

This project fits well with our mission and we appreciate the opportunity to take 
part in this valuable and timely study. All across our liberal arts curriculum we 
offer courses and study segments dealing with moral and ethical issues. The issue 
of television violence certainly fits within these parameters. 

It is morally correct to give our citizens the information they need to play a great- 
er role in influencing the dominant media of our American culture. To leave that 
information and those decisions only in the hands of those who stand as gatekeepers 
in the entertainment industiy raises serious ethical questions, in our opinion. 

The incidence of violence in our culture cannot be ignored. We must look at every 
factor which may be contributing to that violence, and television is certainly one of 
those factors. 

I welcome the opportunity to speak for the students and faculty of Concordia Col- 
le^, Moorhcad who have taken on this project. I am impressed at their interest in 
this matter which clearly reflects the concern we all share. 

I will be pleased to answer the committee's questions about this critical issue. 



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79 

l^e Chairman. Thank you very much, Dr. Dovre. Mr. Davis. 

STATEMENT OF GAEL T. DAVIS, PRESIDENT, EAST SIDE 
SECTION, NATIONAL COUNCIL OF NEGRO WOMEN 

Ms. Davis. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the com- 
mittee. 

I am Gael T. Davis, president of the East Side Section of the Na- 
tional Council of Negro Women, located in south central Los Ange- 
les. And I am here as someone directly impacted by the violence 
today, having been randomly shot by an urban youth. 

'Die National Council of Negro Women is dedicated to raisine the 
levels of health, education, and socioeconomic welfare of black tami- 
Ues in this country. All educators know that we learn by example. 
The children toda^ are taught violence on television before they can 
speak or distinguish between make believe or reality. 

The fact that a child can view 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts 
of violence on television before they leave elementary school is ap- 
palling. 

Violence is the No. 1 cause of death in the African-American 
community. And in south central, service provider^ receive combat 
pay. Every child knows at least one person that has been a victim 
of a violent crime. The environment is permeated with violence. It 
is unsafe for children to walk to and from school. It is unsafe to 
play in the park or even sit on the porch. 

We have 80 percent latchkey children, where there will be no 
parent in the home during the aflerschool hours when they are 
viewing the television. The television has truly become our elec- 
tronic Babysitter. 

Violence is not invented by the children; it is taught. And tele- 
vision has become perhaps the No. 1 educational tooC almost more 
influential than school. 

The violent environment, couple with violence seen on television, 
creates deep fears, low self-esteem, and an attitude that violence 
is power. Af^encies like ours that are dealing with these problems 
need a whole approach to these issues. We want a safe zone cre- 
ated for our chilaren, where they can be educated and entertained 
without violence. 

We need the support of the industry to turn this escalating trend 
of television violence around. And the industry needs help to place 
the welfare of our children at a higher priority. It has shown over 
the past 27 years that it cannot do it by itself. 

Thank you. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much, Ms. Davis. 

I am going to yield my time, in light of the ensuing panel, a very 
important — and of course this panel here, there is none more im- 
portant—each of you have made very moving and poignant and 
dramatic statements, and the committee is indebted to you. 

Like Ms. Davis, you are a victim; you are right on the front line, 
so to speak, on this subject. And, incidentally, we are not rushing 
through in the sense that we have got so many witnesses todav. 
you ought to see the list of witnesses that volunteered and woula 
stay and come. We just could not accommodate all of them. But, 
enough said. 

Senator D 



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Senator Dorgan. Ms. Wagner, is this position of yours going to 
make jrou unpopular in your business? We are not hearing the kind 
of testimony you have offered from people in your industry very 
often. 

Ms. Wagner. I will have to let you know in about a month. I 
preface this by saying I am here first as a mother. And in my life 
that is my priority setup. It is tough. It is a tough thing to stand 
up for, but it is something that — I am saying nothing here that I 
have not said from day one with every producer, every network 
meeting, every development session. I have been discussing this 
issue for a long time. And I think people know me already, so they 
may not be surprised. 

Senator Dorgan. Dr. Donnerstein and others, let me first say 
that much of the work marw of you have done, the coalition, the 
PTA and others, is wonderful work, and you have been doing it 
longer than most of us have been interested in this. 

Ms. Wagner mentioned her children. Many of us are interested 
because of children. As I mentioned, I have a 6- and a 4-year-old, 
and the fact is they talk about supervision, but you can be out 
mashing potatoes and your kids are in watching three people get 
killed in 15 seconds, and it is very hard to supervise, very nard to 
supervise it. 

I listened to Bill Bennett last evening say to somebody on tele- 
vision, this is the parents' responsibility. Well, it is, but we also 
have to deal with the world that is real. We have got 1 million kids 
this year who will be born in this country without a father — 
800,000 of them will never learn the identity of their father in their 
lifetime. We have disjointed families, unstructured families. We 
have got circumstances in which more kids are growing up in 
neighborhoods without guidance, without values, witnout family. 

So, you have got to deal with things as they are, and what has 
happened to us is a group of people, a group of people in networks 
and in corporate enterprises are talking to us in our living room 
and talking to our children, and we are not able to talk back. 

Now, Dr. Gould, your organization has done some work in the 
past, and I think, Ms. Belter, yours has as well and I think you 
indicated you are going to do some in the future, that move in the 
direction I have suggested with respect to a television violence re- 
port card. 

Dr. Gould. We have been doing that for some time, but through 
the FCC. You can reach millions of viewers because it will be pub- 
licized on TV, and we are limited to our membership and sending 
out releases to the press and the media hoping they will pick it up 
and run with it, but you have a much bigger audience. 

Senator Dorgan. And is it not true — and Dr. Dovre, you might 
answer this — the Attorney General today, and as I mentioned in a 
speech she gave in Boston, said people ought to boycott companies 
that produce successively violent television or that sponsor them. 

I share that, but I mean, my guess is, most of these companies 
do not know what they are sponsoring. They tell a buyer, go buy 
me so many gross rating points for my product, and the buver goes 
and buys tne violent program. I think most of these CEO s would 
be mortified to learn that their company is the one that is sponsor- 
ing it, but it seems to me we have a circumstance where if you do 



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an occasional report card, or Mr. Dovre does one, or the PTA does 
one or two, it does not really develop sufficient information on 
which people can act 

The Attorney General says let us do this, let us boycott, let us 
send a message, but nobody in this room understands who to send 
the mes8a£;e to, because we have no information, and could we not 
routinely develop that information? 

Dr. Dovre, you are now going to demonstrate that it is not all 
that difficult Is that what you are going to find, I hope? 

Dr. Dovre. We hope that is the result, yes, sir. 

Ms. Wagner. May I say something about that? If this is going 
to be set up in a migor way, it is very important in addition to 
what you are saying to point out the positive programming. In 
films you can't just warn this is a violent film, because filmm^ers 
argue with the ratings people when they make a film to get an R 
rating, they lobby to get an R rating for a very good reason. We 
now have a couple of generations that have been reared on violence 
for fun and many flock to the films with warnings. 

Senator Dorgan. You make a good point, and it is one that we 
have discussed as well. We also ought to emphasize what is good 
about television. Television has an enormous potential for gooa, an 
enormous potential for good. It is largely wasted these days, but it 
has an enormous potential. 

Let me just respond, Mr. Chairman, to one other thing. 

The Chairman. Dr. Donnerstein wanted to comment. 

Dr. Donnerstein. I wonder, I think it is going to be important 
that we just do not count acts of violence. I tnink violence must be 
put in the context. 

I think certainly we do not want to in any tell children they 
should not see "Roots," or they should not see "Holocaust," whicn 
contain a great deal of violence, and certainly in the work we do 
on violence against women, we worked with NBC on evaluating a 
proCTam which depicted rape, a violent act, yet the way the net- 
wore handled that rape in a national experiment indicated that 
people's attitudes about rape became more — less callous. They gave 
up a lot of the myths about rape. 

So, it is not necessarily acts of violence which are the issue. I 
think it is the context in which that violence is depicted, and I 
think when one begins to think about counting that has got to be- 
come extremely, extremely important. 

Senator Dorgan. I accept that point, and it is a useful and im- 
portant point to make. I tnink you made the point about walking 
down the street with your chilaren and seeing a fight break out 
across the street, and the instinct you have as a parent is to want 
to shelter your children from that violence that is occurring in a 
real way right in front of you. That is exactly the case, and yet, 
I mean. Dr. Donnerstein, you would know more about this than I 
do, but we impersonalize certain things. 

If you are in a grocery store and somebody comes at the end of 
the aisle with a cart, how do you behave? You go first. No, no, after 
you. You go first. The same two people get in tneir car in the park- 
ing lot, and they are screaming and honking and giving obscene 
^stures to each other because it is impersonal, and that is what 
is happening in our television sets. 



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82 

That fight on the other side of the street is personal and reaL. i 
Those acts of violence coming through the TV set are somehow f 
personal messages that institutionalize themselves, and that k^m 
what this discussion is all about. ua 

Dr. Gould. It is really important to pick up on Dr. DonnerstfliaShe 
point, where if violence is portraved accurately and honestly, thni:: 
the viewer is so turned off by the absolute brutality and the di-nL 
struction and all the consequences that you never see on televiaknie 
or movies that it will decrease violence. It is the gratuitous, wA'-i. 
tized, glorifying of violence that is so treacherous. e« 

Senator Dorgan. And there have been examples of that with n-i^ 




ment, do what some of these entertainment shows do to' sensi- ^.^ 
tionalize and glamorize violence. ^ 

The Chairman. Ms. Belter, you had a comment. ^ 

Ms. Belter. I think the other thing when we talk about the ^ 
shows and putting violence in a context that makes it acceptable ^ 
because of the subject matter, then you are also talking about pro- ^ 
gramming that probably is not appropriate for young cnildren, too, ^^ 
so you have to distinguish that when you are dealing with this ^ 
issue, and this is something we all wrestle with, and we realize J^ 
that. jg 

I think using the report cards and doing the surveys right now ^ 
that we are intending to do, it is an awakening again, it is an ^ 
awareness you want to develop, and from that, hopefully, when you ^ 
involve the education people here, you are also saying this is some- ^ 
thing that perhaps we need to look more closely at, that our chil- ,j 
dren have this understanding as well. jj 

Senator Dorgan. But that relates, then, to the chairman's sug- ^ 
gestion, if this is something that children should not be seeing, and ^ 
there are things that are on television that children should not be ^ 
seeing, that deals with the suggestion of the chairman about wh^ ,| 
it is shown. If you are showing things at 7 or 7:30 in the evening ^ 
and then protesting, well, we did not mean this for children, balo- j 
ney. Of course you meant it for children. That is when they are ) 
watching television. 

The Chairman. That is when they changed Beavis and Butthead. \ 
They changed it from 7:30 to 10:30. 

Senator Mathews. 

Senator Mathews. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask the panel, 
I guess, basically the same question I asked General Reno, and 
that is whether or not we are attacking violence for children or 
whether we are attacking violence as an entertainment medium. 

Can we really separate — now, I understand for very young chil- 
dren there is probably a line that we can separate, but tfetween tihe 
teenagers who are going to come home in the afternoon and be 
watching TV by themselves, and the adult population? Do we need 
to get into the business of separating entertainment for them, or 
do we need to reexamine our own values and take a look at what 
we are calling entertainment and what we are going to produce as 
entertainment? 



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83 

Dr. Gould. I would like to see adults be better educated as to 
how violence is really injurious to them as well, not just for chil- 
dren, but I think you have to make a differentiation between what 
children can be allowed to see or not and what adults do. Adults 
can still drink and smoke cigarettes. Children cannot. 

So, there is a line of difference between the two, but I think 
there is an awful lot of educating that parents need, and I would 
like to make one comment that really has not been addressed at 
all — that in the surveys, when the people say, we have seen too 
much violence, we do not want it, many of them are giving the po- 
litically correct answer. 

When they go home, they turn on violence and get a kick out of 
it. They have problems. The society has problems. We have not rec- 
ognized why we accept violence as much as we do. Yes, we pay lip- 
service to it, many, who speak against it turn it on in the privacy 
of their homes, so adults need an awful lot of consciousness raising 
and reeducating. 

For children, we know clearly and well that we have to limit 
what they see because they do not have the options that adults do. 

The Chairman. I am afraid the violence is going to outrun the 
education, though, I can tell you that. We have been waiting — ^here 
I am, for 27 years — and it is getting worse. The violence is winning 
out, education is losing. 

Ms. Wagner. I think with the advent of television and this whole 
escalation, one thing is that the major television audience, is tiie 
generation that grew up on it, from day one with violent cartoons. 
So, what the doctor is referring to, part of the sickness is the way 
we were raised, the way our generation was raised. These parents 
today, our generation, were the first ones that grew up on this 
stuff, so I talk about the adrenalin addiction. 

Senator Mathews. I think that is a part of the problem. 

Ms. Wagner. That is a part of the problem for the adults. It does 
not mean that we have to say that is OK any more than we say 
it is OK for our neighbor to beat their child because, as she pointed 
out, they are the children of our — the children of our community 
are our children. We cannot just have blinders on. 

We have accepted that finally with domestic violence, both with 
children and spousal abuse, that we have to address the violence 
even though we are not the ones in it. It is the same thing. Our 
children do not have to grow up with that addiction if we can stop 
the constant input. 

The children today are the ones, except for those that are sitting 
there smoking just like mom and dad did, or maybe not even like 
mom and dad, but most children today will look at their parents 
or their aunt or grandmother and give them a bad time about 
smoking, because they have been educated. They did not have that 
constant input like my generation and generations before, of the 
advertising being pumped into their heads. 

Senator Mathews. Dr. Donnerstein. ^ 

Dr. Donnerstein. I was going to say really two things. There are 
certainly strong developmental differences, 4- and 5-year-olds proc- 
ess television aiflFerently than 10- and 12-year-olds, who process it 
differently than our age, and I think the other thing is that I think 



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84 

education can be effective. Critical viewing skills, media literacy I 
think can go a lone, long way to mitigate the problem. ^j 

Because one of the issues that always comes up, it is going to be ^, 
those parents who use the advisories, it is going to be those parents , 
who mi^t use the V chip, it is going to be those parents who sit ^ 
down with their child and discuss violence, who are probably not / 
the parents and children we are most concerned about. L 

I hate to always shift the burden to the educational system, but I 
at least there is temporarily, although for a short period of time, , 
a captive audience who I think can be taught how to view the 
media, who can learn conflict resolution, who can learn about the , 
problems of violence in society ar\d be able to deal with it, and I , 
think in fact it would go a long way to mitigating the problem. 

Senator Mathews. It seems to me that in the situation here— 
you put your finger on it here, Ms. Wagner, about us overcoming 
the smoking. This is something that I think when I grew up we 
were all smoking. That was the thing to do, and I think if you look 
at the forties movies and fiflies ana so forth, everybody — ^you did 
not have a scene without two or three people smoking, but some 
way we convinced our children that that was bad. 

Ms. Wagner. I am sorry, I cannot hear you. 

Senator Mathews. I said, some way we convinced our children 
that this is not chic any more, this was not the way to go, that 
smoking was bad, and they put that aside, and some wav we have 
convinced them that a good clean environment is sometnirig to be 
desired, and I think most of our children today have more ofan en- 
vironmental consciousness than we did, and how do we do the 
same thing with respect to violence? 

Ms. Wagner. I do not know that we as the parents are the ones 
who did the convincing. I think that is part of the eood aspect of 
the media. I think the information that was available to the chil- 
dren, they got it. 

They do not have to shoulder the burden of everyday responsibil- 
ities.. Getting the cans separated from the plastic, for the children, 
was not ''yet one more thing'' they had to think about so they got 
the importance instantly. Our structure around us keeps us from 
being able to hear the information that is coming out of there every 
day, the good stuff, because it makes our life oifTicult because we 
have to change it. 

I think they got it in spite of us, and they are the ones — I see 
it all the time with my children, with other people's children. They 
are the ones who keep us on our toes about this stuff that we know 
is right, we heard about, and they are putting the pressure on us 
now finally. 

Does that answer you? 

Senator Mathews. It does, but are we saying that they are going 
to have to convince us that they do not want to see violence? 

Ms. Wagner. No, I am saying they did not say, "Mom, I want 
to know more about the environment." Somebodv did that. Some- 
body put that on the media. Somebody imposed tnat. People got up 
ana started screaming about it, and so if we have a system that 
stops the negative input to the children right away, whether it is 
exactly as Senator Hollings is proposing or not, I do not know how 
else to short circuit it quickly. 



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I think some kind of a situation like that needs to be done which 
will bring all kinds of conversation and all kinds of controvers}^, I 
mean, yes, it will, and it will be very difficult, and it also will bring 
a lot of forced education, because people cannot deny it any more, 
and it requires educational things that you are referring to, and all 
of the other kinds of things that will spin out of that, thereby creat- 
ine that systemic shift which happened on these other levels. 

Senator Mathews. Thank you. I see my time is up, Mr. Chair- 
man. 

The Chairman. Well, the committee is indebted to each of you, 
and we are jpioing to have to change over now and get the tinal 
panel here, if we can do it as quickly and as quietly as we possibly 
can. 

The committee will next hear from Jack Valenti, the president 
and chief executive officer of the Motion Picture Association, Mr. 
Howard Stringer, the president of CBS Broadcast Group, Mr. Win- 
ston H. Cox, uie chairman and chief executive officer of Showtime 
Networks, Mr. AI DeVaney, the chairman of the board of the Asso- 
ciation of Independent Television Stations, Mr. George Vradenburg, 
the executive vice president of Fox. 

While you folks are being seated here, we will enter into the 
record the statement of Dean Stockwell and Joy Stockwell with re- 
spect to violence on TV. 

[The statements of Ms. Purl, Ms. Clark, Mr. Karas, Ms. Stock- 
well, and Mr. Stockwell follow:] 

Joint Statement of Mara Purl, Susan Clark, and Alex Karas 

We are sorry we cannot be there in person to support Senate bill S. 1383 which 
is before you today. As members of the communications/entertainment industry we 
reedize the tremendous importance of responsible television programming. Given the 
evidence of a shocking increase in teenage violent crimes we acknowledge that 
something must be done about the atmospnere of violence in which American diil- 
dren are raised. Combined with the factors of latchkey situations in many families 
and the ever present video games in which children learn, at an early age to kill 
or be killed, tne presence of violence on television only serves to reinforce the sub- 
liminal message that violence is acceotable. Children need to see examples of 
problemsolving and communications skills, rather than the steady dose of violence 
they are getting presently. How can we expect dianges to happen if we cannot be 
strong enough to meet the diallenge? 

Please vote for S. 1383 and let tnis be the first step on the road to helping Amer- 
ica recover from this epidemic of violence. 

Thank you. 



Joint Statement of Joy Stockwell and Dean Stockwell 

We are sor^ we cannot be there in person to support Senate Bill 1383 which is 
before you today. We are truly at a crossroads in history. Violent crime among the 
very younfl is at record levels. Television has led the way by desensitizing us to vio- 
lence. We have given games, the likes of which are unprecedented, to small children, 
especially boys — sames whose only lesson is to kill or be killed. In the most recent 
and hugely popular "game," kids can dismember their opponent once he is killed. 
This desensitization to human pain and suffering can only serve to program anti- 
social thou^ts in innocent minas. If it is wrong to kill when why do we allow kill- 
ing games? Teenagers, for years now have "played" at stomping on, slamming down, 
or obliterating witn gunfire, their opponents. At critical stages in their development 
they are receiving sociopathic messages. Why then are we shocked by the increase 
in teenage violent crimes? Where are the children getting the lessons with which 
to go out into societv and function? It has always been through childhood "play* that 
the young learn to become adults in their society. With firm, loving guidance of "el- 
ders they learn respect for themselves, others and their environment, and appro- 



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86 

§riate wavs to resolve conflicts. Today, we entrust lessons of "elders" to electronic 
evioes. With the powerlul reinforcement if violent behavior as a viable option, by 
viewing adult TV shows and movies, we risk that the crisis will worsen. This gen- 
eration has viewed thousands of murders by the sixth grade — those whose parents 
have allowed it, that is. There are millions of families in America which strive to 
teadi appropriate behavior and communication skills. They do not allow children to 
plav violent video games or watch television or movie violence. They play with their 
children and try to promote self-esteem, cooperation, and positive values. But for the 
million of families which, for whatever reason, do not or cannot give their children 
these gifts, we must ensure that what their children receive is not sociopathic pro- 

franmiing such as I have described. The elimination of TV violence for consum[>tion 
y the very voung is an imperative first step in the process of healing our society. 
We hope that the communications/entertainment industry will see the wisdom m 
taking responsibility for what they put on the airwaves for all to see. Televisions 
and video games are in a sense "elders" to millions of future adults. What are the 
lessons they get from these machines? We can begin to "turn the tide" by protecting 
our you no; people from witnessing violence on television, and by questioning the wis- 
dom of allowing them to play "sociopathic" games. Children who have a&eady re- 
ceived years of negative programming need to be identified and helped, now, before 
it is too late. We urge you, nonorable representatives of as all, to vote for S. 1383 
so the healing can begin in America. Thank you. 

The Chairman. Let us start with Mr. Vradenburg and go right 
on through. Mr. Vradenburg, you and the others, we apologize for 
the tardy hour, but you can see we have got the members present 
here still. They are vitally interested. 

The statements will be included in the record in their entirety, 
and if you can highlight it within 5 minutes we would appreciate 
it very much. 

STATEMENT OF GEORGE VRADENBURG III, EXECUTIVE VICE 
PRESIDENT, FOX INC. 

Mr. Vradenburg. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I recognize the 
topic is important, and we have certainly waited patiently and are 
glad to make our views known. 

My testimony this morning will be brief I will make only three 
points, and I will try and summarize my points, Mr. Chairman, 
rather than going through the written testimony. 

Point 1, we at Fox believe we are responsible for assuring that 
there is no sort of bad violence on our air. We are grappling with 
this problem. We all recognize the difficulty, however, in defining 
the difference between good violence and bad violence. You have 
heard some characterizations from the last panel and earlier this 
morning. 

Gratuitous, glamorized violence, violence that suggests that it is 
the solution to life's problems, is bad violence. Yet, as Attorney 
General Reno pointed out, violence on TV that shows the con- 
sequence to victims, that in fact shows violence in the most realis- 
tic way possible, can prov6 to be useful to society. 

I have up here our program schedule, Mr. Chairman. And rather 
than go through it in any detail I would ask that you put a copy 
in the record for purposes of the record. 

The Chairman. It will be included, yes. 

Mr. Vradenburg. We at Fox believe that our program schedule 
does reflect the distinctions between good and bad violence, and 
only put on the air depictions of violence which are portrayed in 
a responsible manner. 

I would specifically point out that most of this schedule is com- 
edy and continuing or lighthearted dramas, and really cannot raise, 



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87 

I do not believe, any serious question about widespread use of bad 
violence on TV. 

I would focus in particular on America's Most Wanted and Cops, 
which are two programs which have been cited by some as contain- 
ing some violence, and point out that America's Most Wanted in 
piuticular has been responsible for the capture of 269 fugitives. 
America's Most Wanted and its host, John Walsh, have been the 
recipient of numerous awards and commendations from the former 
President of the United States, the U.S. Department of Justice, the 
FBI, and other law enforcement agencies. 

This, it seems to me, falls right in the mainstream of exactly 
what General Reno was talking about when she said it can be 
healthy if in fact you show violence in the most realistic way pos- 
sible. This show tends to do that, although most depictions of vio- 
lence are actually offscreen, but it reenacts violent crimes in an ef- 
fort to capture criminals. It has been successful. 

Cops is another series that has been cited by some as containing 
some violence, although here again most the violence has already 
occurred by the time the cops get on the scene. And this show has 
been cited by many in the law enforcement community as a posi- 
tive depiction of the police forces in our country. 

So, I would suggest, Mr. Chairman, that we have tried and grap- 
pled with the proolem, and tried in our schedule to reflect the re- 
search over the years, to try to put on our schedule only those de- 
pictions of violence which are realistic, which are appropriate with- 
in context, and that are not gratuitous or glamorizing violence. 

My second point, beyond our own responsibility to regulate care- 
fully what we air, is we believe parents are and should be the pri- 
mary regulators of their kids' viewing. Some have suggested that 
we cannot rely on parents to supervise their kids, that parents are 
not around to do it. We disagree. 

A study attached to my testimony shows that an adult, and nor- 
mally a parent, is present in the home with a child over 90 percent 
of prime time. In short, we believe adults are there to supervise 
their kids' viewing, and that we should rely on them to do so. 

One point was made this morning about promos in children's 
programming for violent programs. We at Fox do not put promos 
for adult-oriented programming in our children's product, and in- 
deed instruct and direct our attiliates, for example with respect to 
Cops, not to put promos for Cops in anything but adult-oriented 
programs. 

Third and finally, and perhaps most importantly, Attorney Gen- 
eral Reno said there is no single answer, there is no simple answer. 
TV can be a tool for good or for evil. And we at Fox would sign 
up for Attorney General Reno's pledge to take responsibility and to 
work with her in a comprehensive effort to try to address and to 
use television to address the problem of violence in society. 

We at Fox want to be part of the solution, not the problem, to 
what ails our country. We believe, for example AMW, America's 
Most Wanted and Cops do just that. We will soon launch a public 
service campaign to challenge Americans to do something about 
guns in schools. 

We are already today airing over 650 60-second announcements 
a year in our children's programming aimed at responsible TV 



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viewing and safe gun practices. Our existing children's public serv- 
ice commitment exceeds $15 million a year, and reaches over 17 
million kids a month. 

I would, with the committee's indulgence, like to play just two of 
those spots in conclusion, one actually reflecting a point Mr. Gould 
just made, the need to educate parents on responsible viewing. The 
second actually reflects something that General Reno mentioned, 
and that is that we ought to warn kids never to go near a gun. 

These are two 60-second spots, and that will end my testimony. 

[A videotape was shown.] 

Mr. Vradenburg. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Vradenburg follows:] 

Prepared Statement of George Vradenburg III 

Thank you Mr. Chairman. My testimony this morning will be brief— I want to 
make onlv two points. 

First, the Fox prime time schedule is dominated by comedies and serial and light- 
hearted dramas and could not possibly serve as the basis for any concern regarding 
wide-spread violence on television. The only way we know to respond to generalized 
attacks upon our medium is to focus on the specifics of our actual programs. This 
is our prime time schedule: 

• Monday — Two hour movies, mostly comedies and lighthearted dramas. The oc- 
casional action film is accompanied by a parental advisory in accordance with the 
plan announced this summer oy the four networks. 

• Tuesday — Two comedies followed by "America's Most Wanted", a crime fighting 
reality show responsible for the capture of more than 269 fugitives. "America's Most 
Wanted" and its host, John Walsh, have been the recipient of numerous awards and 
commendations from the President of the United States, the United States Depart- 
ment of Justice, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. 

• Wednesday — "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Melrose Place", two continuing dram- 
as, decidedlv non -violent. 

• Thursday — Three comedies led by "The Simpsons" plus "In Living Color", a va- 
riety show. iNot a speck of violence. 

• Friday — "Brisco County, Jr." a light-hearted Western in the tradition of Indiana 
Jones, plus "X-Files", suspenseful, but non-violent. 

• Saturday — "Cops", another crime fighting reality series praised by law enforce- 
ment personnel across the country as portraying a positive image of police ollicers. 
"Cops regularlj^ carries parental advisories and doesn't glorify violence but instead 
shows its negative consequences for both victim and perpetrator. "Cops" is followed 
by Fox News^ "Front Page". 

• Sunday — An hour varietv show followed by six comedies. At three hours, our 
longest night of television and not one speck of violence. 

In the tradition of the highest standards of broadcast network television, our 
prime time schedule is subject to continuous oversight by our Standards and Prac- 
tices Department. In addition, our children's programs are guided by the advice of 
an outsiae advisory board made up of educators, social scientists and concerned par- 
ents. 

Second, beyond our own responsibility to regulate carefully what we air, we be- 
lieve parents are and should be the primary regulators of their kids* viewing. Some 
have suggested that we cannot rely on parents to supervise their kids' viewing, that 
parents are not around to do it. We disagree. A study attached to my testimony 
shows that an adult, normally a parent, is present in the home with a diild over 
97 percent of prime time. In short, adults are there to supervise their kids viewing. 

We cannot escape the reality that adults and kids alike all use TV at all times 
during the day. We cannot simply separate adults' time from kids' time. When pro- 
gramming aimed at adults may be inappropriate for kids, parents are the only prac- 
tical arbiter of kids' TV viewing. We should rely on them to do so. 

We at Fox recognize that there is real pain, an^er and frustration in our society. 
Violence, drugs, alcoholism and family abuse are just symptoms of some underlying 
8o6ial dysfunction. As Hillary Clinton has recognized in discussing the Politics oT 
Meaning, Americans are searching for a positive way to deal with their feelings of 
alienation and the reality of their lives. Television can help in that search. But TV 
does its best when it is dealing with the truth, not ignoring it "^ "^ "^ when its pro- 



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pamming deals with real life iatuet, including violence, and not forced exclusively 
mto an irrelevant *A Bra4y Bunch* world of instant solutions. 

FoK is oommitted to using the tekvirion's strengths to be part of the solution, not 
the problem* to what ails our country. We believe "America's Most Wanted" and 
tSopaT do just that. We will soon launch a public service camoaign to challenge 
Americana to do something about guns in schools. And we are already today airing 
awr 650 60-aeoond announcements a year in our children's programming aimed at 
responsible TV viewing and safe gun practices. Our existing cnilcunen's public service 
oonmutment exceeds $15 million and reaches over 17 million kids a month. 

Here are two of those spots— one encouraging parents to supervise the TV viewing 
of their Idds; and one warning kids not to play with guns. 
[Show tape.] 

In cloeing, I want to emphasize that Pox Broadcasting is trying earnestly to con- 
duct itaelf responsibly ana to do our part in addressing the issue of TV violence. 
We stand ready as well to assist this Congress in using TV to address the critical 
iBBiie of violence in our society. 
Thank you. 



["When Children Are in the Presence of Parents and Other Adults: A Survey of 
Parenta,** by the National Researdi, Inc., Chevy Chase, MD, February 1990 may be 
foand in the committee's files.] 

The CHAlRBftAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Vradenburg. Mr. Va- 
lenti. 

STATEMENT OF JACK VALENTI, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXEC- 
UTIVE OFFICER, THE MOTION PICTURE ASSOCIATION OF 
AMERICA 

Mr. Valenti. Mr. Chairman, I think it is clear that the Congress 
and the public, which by the way includes all of us up here and 
all of us in the movie and broadcast industry, are seriously fed up 
with the madness that with malignant fidelity stalks our streets 
and infests our neighborhoods. 

And none of us knows even with a wobbly certainty, what causes 
one human being to inflict upon another brutalities of the most vi- 
cious and cheerless kind. 

But if television is responsible for even, as I have said many 
times, the slightest bit of blame for that then we at this table and 
those of our colleagues have to respond responsibly and diligently. 
This we have done, will do, and so pledge this committee. 

Now, let me tell you what we are about. In the movie broadcast 
business, in the creative community, our business is telling stories 
about the human condition. We tell stories about everything. 

What we are tr3dng to address, Mr. Chairman, is how do we tell 
stories about the frailties and the follies and the triumphs of men 
and women, of conflicts that engage them and enrage them and en- 
tice them and sometimes elevate them, and the heroism of the 
human spirit, and to do all of that and at the same time portray 
action and controversy that is both real and responsible. That is 
our objective. 

All that the broadcast and fllm industry and cable industry 
pledge to do we will do, within the embrace of the first amendment, 
that is unintimidated by commandments of Government or agen- 
cies of Government. We are going to do this, Mr. Chairman, be- 
cause I believe and all of us believe it is right that we do do it. 

Here is what we are doing, and have done, and will do. The net- 
works, through their standards and practices division, as Howard 
Stringer will no doubt explain to you, are imposing on the final ver- 



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sions of programs they will exhibit the most careful attention to 
eliminating excessive, gratuitous and glamorizing violence. 

The networks are meeting with their producer-writers right now, 
and have been and will do that, to assure that there is a sensitive 
evaluation of how you deal with violence in a story. 

The major studios are conducting similar meetings with their 
producer-writer-directors. They are doing it because they want to 
cooperatively eliminate, exile that violence which is imnecessary to 
plot or character. 

And the creative guilds, the Actors Guild, the Writers Guild, the 
Directors Guild, the Producers Guild, the caucus for writers, direc- 
tors, and producers are embarking on a continuing dialog. We have 
already started it, and they are embarked on it right now with 
their members trying to lift the awareness, and I think that is im- 
portant. 

Lift the awareness of the need for eliminating violence. The net- 
works, and the guilds, and the studios right now, and Fox is show- 
ing you an example of it, are preparing public service announce- 
ments which try to deal with how to settle disputes with something 
other than violence, or dealing with how to deal with guns. 

Attorney General Reno talked about the need for having special 
programs on the air, and that is being created right now witti the 
networks, and the movie industry, and the guilds all embarking to 
create a special TV program that would deal with the settlement 
of disputes with alternatives to violence. 

At the same time as these messages do, instruct parents on how 
to talk to your kids about not only violence on television but vio- 
lence in the street, which is real and which is not. And we hope 
to roadblock that program — that is, to show it on all the networks 
at the same time on the same day, and then maybe distribute the 
video cassettes of this to schools. 

The four networks right now are applying parental advisories, 
and again I salute ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox for doing this. I think 
is a wonderful thing that they are doing to give cautionary 
warnings to parents so that parents can make individual judg- 
ments about what they want their kids to see and not to see. 

And finally, I am setting up a steering committee in California 
including networks, the four guilds, the caucus, cable networks, 
major studios, everybody to form a smaller group that forms a kind 
of our own little monitoring group that is going to be reporting 
back to our constituency the efforts of our joint labors. 

But I will say this as I conclude here. I think there is much more 
to the collapse of the assumed social normalities in this country, 
Senators, than a TV set. 

What is required really is something that is mighty hard to do. 
It is to return to what William Faulkner, the great southern writer, 
Mr. Chairman, once described as the old verities, the universal 
truths without with every story is ephemeral. And a return to kind 
of— and I know this word has been overused but it is real "values," 
where parents instruct their kids in a standard of values so when 
they leave that front door and go out on the street, they are so for- 
tified about what their parents have instructed them that the 
shield that they wear will be impenetrable to what they find out- 



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side. And if they do not have that no agency, no Government, no 
Congress, nobody is going to be able to salvage that child's conduct 

We want to join in that crusade, all of us, to try to bring back 
some sani^ to where insanity has been the premier reiening king. 

We thank you for allowing us to tell you what we are doing. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Valenti follows:] 

PSBPARBD dfATBMSNT OP JaCK VaLB.NTI 

In his fint campaign speech as a candidate for Congress, Abe Lincoln said: 'My 
poiltirs ave riiart and sweet, like the old woman's dance. 
likewise is my response to this Committee. 

We in the c reative oommunity have a minimum regard for researdi which offers 
up THE THREE STOOGES and ROADRUNNER cartoons as violent, dangerous ma- 
terial to be handled with extreme care. Yet manv folks declare the research to be 
definitive, b^fond rebuttal. TV causes anti-social behavior. Case dosed.** 

However, rather than quarrel over what is right and who is wrong, the broadcast/ 
filmTrV indnstiy is determined to react with responsibility, and diligenoc. This we 
will do and so pledge this Committee. 

We dDn\ leally know, nor does anyone else know with even a wobbly certainty, 
what causes one human being to indict upon another bnitalitiec of the most cheer- 
less kind. No wonder Winston Churchill wrote that crimes, follies and infirmities 
are always associated with the history of mankind. Perhaps it is because human be- 
havior is unpredictable, human edses are blurred, mortal beings do not conduct 
themselves with robotic precision. As one observer once remarked. "Nature never 
draws a line that isn't smudged." 

What we do know is that this Congress and the public (which includes everyone 
in the film^broadcast industry) are seriouslv fed up with mayhem and madness that 
with a malignant fidelity stalks our neighborhooas and infests our streets. Here in 
this federal cit^ we bear frightened witness to a war zone where no child is safe 
and no street is secure. It's a national shanDC. No wonder the people cry out, ^Tor 
God's sake, do somethins!" 

The broadcast/fUm/Tv pro^p^mming community is moving actively to "do some- 
thing," about reducing excessive, gratuitous violence on TV without debating wheth- 
er or not TV is a contributor to anti-social conduct. We are past that. We want to 
challenfle this issue responsibly, without doing a political minuet around a meta- 
idmicai majnpole. 

Consider the vast, almost limitless lesions of pro^amming on broadcast stations 
and cable. Consider that in 1992, the voluntary movie rating system rated 616 films 
annually, some 1,200 hours a year of movie-making. Contrast that with some 75,000 
hours of programming a day, on broadcast stations and cable. Out of that huge cor- 
nucopia of programs, as vast and varied as a galaxy faraway, there exists a wide 
snread of quality in story telling. There is a formidable diflerence in how each hour 
or programing depicts and presents violence, non-violence, romance, action, comedy, 
passions, poignancy, and the conflict of good and evil, the core of plotting since the 
begmning of the stage and screen. 

The movieTTV creative oommunity tells stories about the human condition, in all 
itsffoises. Therefore what we are trying to address is how we tell stories about the 
frauties, the follies of men and women and the conflicts which engage them, enrage 
them, entice them and sometimes elevates them, as well as the neroism of the 
human spirit, and at the same time portray action and controversy in ways that are 
both real and responsible. That's our objective. 

But neither the Congress nor story tellers can escape the unruly fact that what 
is 'aooeptable" to some is '^unsui table" to others. What is gauged as ''reasonable" by 
some, is judged to be 'unreasonable' by others. 

Which is why lawmakers tread bogs ground when they want to apply statutory 
regulations to creative desi^s*. Which is why we must consider, most respectfully, 
the First Amendment. It is the least ambiguous clause in our Constitution. Its 
spare, bleached prose constructs a shield whicn our government dare not try to pen- 
etrate. All that the audio visual industry pledges to do will be shaped within the 
embrace of the First Amendment, that is, unintimidated by commandments of gov- 
ernment or agencies of government. We will do what we promise to do because we 
believe it is right and responsible to do. 

We in the broadcasl^nim industry present to you today the specific affirmative 
steps we have taken, are taking and plan to take, all of which are aimed at being 
thGat)U^ly responsible in the depiction of violence within stories of action and con- 
flict. 



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Our assumption of responsibility in story-telling is summed up as follows: 

1. The networks, through their standards and practices divisions, are imposing on 
the final versions of programs careful attention to eliminating excessive, gratuitous 
or glamorized violence. 

2. Networks are also meeting regularly with their producers and writers to assure 
there is a sensitive evaluation of the use of violence in their stoiy telling. 

3. The major studios are conducting similar meetings with producer-writers with 
whom they are associated in an eflbrt to cooperatively remove any depiction of vio- 
lence whicn is unnecessary to plot or character. 

4. The creative guilds, Actors Guild, Writers Guild, Directors Guild, Producers 
Guild, and the Caucus for Writers, Producers, Directors are embarking on a continu- 
ing dialogue with their members, the aim of which is to lift the awareness of the 
need for exiling gratuitous violence, especially that which glamorizes what most peo- 
ple would consider to be anti-social behavior. 

5. The networks, the guilds and the studios are at work in i)reparing Public Serv- 
ice Announcements whose objective it is to emphasize alternatives to violence in the 
settlement of disputes. 

6. The networks and studios, in collaboration with the creative community, vrill 
produce a Special TV Program dealing with alternatives to violence in settling dis- 
putes, as well as helping parents discuss with their diildren the depiction oT vio- 
lence in TV pro-ams, news shows, sportine events, etc. The netwoncs will ■road- 
block" this Special (that is, all netwoiics will air the program at the same hour on 
the same day) as well as make vidcocassettes available to schools throu^out the 
nation. 

7. The four networks are at this moment applying Tarental Advisories" to all 
programs which, in their judgment, warrants cautioncuv warnings to parents so 
that parents can make their own decisions about individual programs tney choose 
their children to watch or not watch. 

8. A Steering Group, comprised of representatives of each of the four guilds, the 
Caucus, the Alliance lor Motion Picture & Television Producers, the broadcast net- 
works, the major studios, and cable networks, will meet regularlv over the next year 
to discuss the effects of their joint eflbrts. Each representative of the Steering Group 
will report back to his or her respective constituents on their labors. 

We m the ^lm^roadcast industry present to this Committee our covenant with 
the Congress and the American people which we obligate ourselves to redeem. 

But there is more, much more to the collapse of assumed social normalities than 
a TV set. What is required is a return to what William Faulkner described as **the 
old verities, the old universal truths,'* what others call *^raditions and values." The 
blood and bone of a durable society is formed by how the citizens of a nation conduct 
themselves among daily moral challenges. 

Not only the Congress, but families, churches, schools, business, education, and 
the creative community of film and broadcast have to ioin in the reassertion of 
"right vs. wrong." The entire LJ.S. film and broadcast inaustry is poised and ready 
to assist the White House and the Congress in attacking frontally what most exnert 
observers of the human drama deem to be the major causes of violence, intruders 
drenching our streets in senseless acts of mindless malice. But citizen and public 
oflicial alike are often reluctant to do what has to be done to say: 'Tlo more tres- 
passing in our community." 

Who are these intruders? We know them all too well: Lade of parental responsibil- 
ity, broken homes, one-parent households, abject poverty, a breakdown of aisdpline 
in the schools, a collapse of institutions which ought to be serving those who most 
need assistance, abandonment of the church and, please let us face up to this, the 
endless flood of weapons easily available to teenagers and adults alike. 

There is yet to be done so much more. 

The Chairman. Very good. Mr. Stringer. 

STATEMENT OF HOWARD STRINGER, PRESIDENT, CBS 
BROADCAST GROUP 

Mr. Stringer. Thank you, Senator. Well, I too came here to 
admit some responsibility for violence. I came here to testify, but 
I am actually attempting to confess and await sentencing. 

But instead of reading my remarks, there is a point of clarifica- 
tion for everything that I have heard so far. This committee, I be- 
lieve, promulgated the virtue of 500 channels, yet the Attorney 
General is suggesting that legislation against television violence 



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this morning is constitutional, but she said it also applies to broad- 
casters, not cable. 

We nave also heard enthusiasm for challenging advertisers for 
their support of violent content. They too disproportionately sup- 
port broaacasters, not cable. 

Trust me — well, that is probably too optimistic. We are no longer 
alone out there. The problem of television violence is a 500-channel 
problem, not to mention video games and movies, and singling us 
out will only make citizen Malone die laughine. The horse nas 
bolted the stable and we no longer are the stables. The world is 
changing, and the vast media world that you worry about quite ac- 
curately is bigger than a handful of networks. 

Some panelists, witnesses, began their remarks bv saying, "I do 
not watch television." Well, I think if you watched, the networks 
you would be more reassured than you believe that there is less vi- 
olence than ever before. 

There may have been other pilgrims to Washington to plead the 
network's cause, but it is the first time that I have been down here 
this year. 

Action adventures on our network are down from 23 to 8 percent, 
but I promise you they will migrate to the world of television be- 
yond us. 

We have a responsibility for the violence that is on the air, and 
our standards and practices division of 25 people is working harder 
than ever, but we did not invent violence and TV has a lot to be 
proud of. 

A careful examination of our schedule yields a different conclu- 
sion from those our critics suggest. Of 22 hours of prime time 
weekly, more than 1,100 hours annually, only a small number of 
the movies and perhaps a few episodes of our series fall into a kind 
of violence classification and again, less than ever. 

But such issues as child and spousal abuse, sexual harassment, 
and AIDS prevention, to name but a few, have received their most 
thoughtful treatment on network television. 

The degree to which already skittish advertisers are discouraged 
from supporting these programs will only serve to deprive, I be- 
lieve, mature viewers of thoughtful treatments of serious subjects. 
And such threats to program diversity are real and should be re- 
sisted by all of us who support individual choice, and the fullest 
range of creative expression, and the preservation of quality free 
and imiversal television. 

But like Jack, I am anxious to turn our efforts away from de- 
fense and justification to a more powerful use of our powerful me- 
dium to combat violence across the board. We stand ready to co- 
operate with the Government, the production community, and our 
advertisers to combat this scourge just as we have taken on drug 
and alcohol abuse and smoking. 

We accept in both a corporate and personal sense the responsibil- 
ity to work to resolve this issue, for if we separate like church and 
State our corporate values from personal values, then we broadcast 
programs to others we would not share with our own family or 
friends. 

We know we are guests in the living rooms of America, so our 
personal values ought to be a litmus test of taste and the surest 



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guide to decency and sensitivity. That is not just preferable to cen- 
sorship, in the end it is likely to be more effective. 

Thank you very much. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Stringer follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Howard Stringer 

To i)ut this hearinff in context, I reel compelled to note that this has been a year 
in which our mj^aa competitors have merged, splurged and converged into the 
brave, new, multimedia future, while we still grapple within our own anachronistic 
regulatory structure. We have endured the cable cartel's use of retransmission con- 
sent negotiations to humble CBS in retribution for our role in last year's cable de- 
bate. On a happier note, we succeeded in bringing David Letterman to CBS. Never- 
theless, despite these major corporate and industry challenges, I have actually spent 
more time on the issue of television violence than any other. 

I say that not to complain, but to try to make clear to you that this is an issue 
we have taken very seriously. We have heard the concerns voiced by our viewers, 
the academics, and by you and your colleagues, and we have taken action. 

Yet, we are ha^/ing great dimculty convincing you and your colleagues that vol- 
untary, self-regulation — at least in so far as the broadcast television networks are 
concerned — is working. I believe a careful review of the facts will show that the 
broadcast networks have responded to the challenge put to us by Senator Simon and 
so many of you. I urge you to undertake that review because legislation in this area 
is fraught not only with constitutional peril, but also poses great danger to high 
quality, free and universal, over the air television. 

Let me reaflirm clearly at the outset that CBS recognizes the leading role we play 
in our society, and we accept the responsibility that comes with that leadership. 

While we do not concur with the more expansive 'Hockstep causal relationship" 
postulated by many of the social scientists who have studied television violence, we 
readily acknowledge that if we contribute in any way to the epidemic of violence 
in this country, we have no choice but to do better. 

That is why CBS, unlike any other channel on the ever expanding dial other than 
our over the air network colleagues, has a Pro-am Practices Department which, 
working with CBS Entertainment, carefully reviews every proiect and every script 
that we even consider airing. We work with our advertisers and our prop^am 8U[>pli- 
ers to seek adherence to our standards, and we reserve and do exercise the rimt 
to edit programs delivered to us because we accept the ultimate responsibility Tor 
what the CbS Television Network sends into every state, and every community, and 
every home in America. 

But seeking to make ever more certain that we are doing everything we can, last 
spring, in preparation for setting our 1993-1994 program schedule, we convened 
lengthy sessions of our senior management including our sdieduling and production, 
program development, promotion, program practices and advertising sales divisions 
to review all aspects of the television violence issue. We asked ourselves tougii ques- 
tions about the appropriateness of where we place programs on our schedule — and 
I have acknowledged previously that we could have done a better job on that score 
last year. 

We studied our promotional spots and their placement so as to be more sensitive 
to younger audiences. We looked more carefully at the content of movies, both those 
made for television and theatrical releases that we air. And while we do edit inap- 
propriate content out of the theatricals we air, we also regularly choose not to pur- 
chase ri^ts to successful movies that we know would never be able to meet our 
standards, even though we know that our competitors will air them, often unedited, 
to significant viewing audiences. 

The prime time schedule that emerged from those deliberations and began this 
fall is <^cidedly less violent. 

Sunday * * * America's most watched program, 60 Minutes, and Murder, She 
Wrote. Monday * * * four comedies highlighted by Emmy Award winning Best 
Comedy Murphy Brown and Emmy Awand winning Best Drama Northern Exposure. 
Tuesday * * * Rescue 911, a program credited with saving over 150 lives. Wednes- 
day * * * two more sitcoms, then a new action comedy South of Sunset and 48 
Hours hosted by Dan Rather. Thursday ♦ ♦ ♦ in the Heat of the Night ♦ ♦ • Eye 
to Eye with Connie Chung * * * and a prime time soap opera we just canceled. Fri- 
day * * * a Dick Van Dyke "whodunnit, two comedies and this year's Emmy award 
winning Best Drama Picket Fences. Saturday * * * the surprise family drama hit 
Dr. ^mn, Medicine Woman, a new family comedy Harts of the West, and at 10 
p.m.. Walker Texas Ranger. 



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And iiKyvies on Sundays and Tuesdays. Some of them do have violent content, and 
yea, some of them this season will carry oarental advisories. However, this i)a8t sea- 
son 10 of the top 15 rated movies for all of television were on CBS— movies such 
as The Halhnark Hall of Fame Presentation, Skylark, and The Man Upstairs with 
Katharine Hepburn and none were the '^rue crime depictions'* that, as a genre, 
have been frequently tai^eted for criticism in discussions of television violence. 

Our movies this season will include Return to Lonesome Dove, and BufTalo Girls, 
two Hallmark Hall of Fame presentations, one with Joanne Woodward and the 
other, To Dance with the White Dog starring Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn, 
Gynsy, starring Bette Midler, and the return of Bill Cosby and Robert Culp in I Spy. 

And finally, our schedule this year, in addition to our acclaimed series and mov- 
ies, includes the World Series, the Final Four, the Grammys, the Country Music 
Amrards, the Kennedy Center Honors, and, in February, our second Winter Olympic 
Games within two years. 

As vou can see, a careful examination of our schedule yields a far diflerent conclu- 
sion than our critics suggest. Of our 22 hours of prime time weekly, more than 1100 
hours annually, onlv a small number of the movies, and perhaps a few episodes of 
any of our series, fall into anv kind of violence classification. 

But recognizing that we do have some movies and an occasional series episode 
that have some violent content, we also began to explore improved ways to advise 
parents of problematic prop^am content that might cause them to restrict their chil- 
dren's viewmg. Working with our colleagues at ABC, NBC and Fox, we implemented 
the "Advance Parental Advisory Plan" designed to provide parents with adequate, 
timely information about depictions of violence that may be contained in programs 
we air. 

Where appropriate, CBS now airs a cautionary advisory to parents which specifi- 
cally refers to a program's violent content. In addition, for any program that carries 
an advisory, all promotion for that prosram, whether on our own network, or. on 
radio, or in newspapers or magazines includes an appropriate advisory. 

I would like to turn for a moment to a chilling aspect of this debate. Unlike cable 
virith its subscription income, free television is totallv dependent on advertising reve- 
nue to support the programming we air. No matter now seemingly worthy the objec- 
tive, we are concerned oy any proposal that targets, intimidates, or seeks to penalize 
advertisers. Well-intended as this may be for objectionable violent content, there is 
abundant evidence that others attempt to quash what they deem controversial pro- 
gramming by targeting advertisers as well. 

TTie made-for-tele vision movie, the pro-am genre most frequently tai^geted has 
often provided illumination of controversial themes. It is frequently the most con- 
troversial among these that has provided invaluable social benefits. Such issues as 
child and spousal abuse, sexual narassment and AIDS prevention, to name but a 
few, have received their most thoughtful treatment in this form. The degree to 
which already skittish advertisers are discouraged from supporting these programs 
will only serve to deprive mature viewers of thoughtful treatments of senous sub- 
jects. Such threats to program diversity are very real and should be resisted bv all 
of us who support individual choice, the fullest range of creative expression, and the 
preservation of quality, free and universal television. 

We also remain especially concerned about non-network programs we air on the 
stations CBS owns. We have little control over the content of individual episodes 
of those programs, particularly the tabloid shows that now dominate the prime time 
access period, a time which the FCC eflectively prevents us from programming our- 
selves. These syndicated pron^ams, shown in the early evening, have projected a 
new blend of flashy, quick, NTV-paced sex and violence that should concern all in 
our business. 

Finally, there is no simple answer to this problem. It cannot and will not be 
solved in a day or a week, but we have already taken important steps. We are pre- 
pared to do more. And we will. 

I am anxious to turn our eflbrts away from defense and justification to a positive 
use of our powerful medium to combat violence across the board. We stana ready 
to cooperate with government, the production community and our advertisers to 
combat this scourge, just as we have taken on drug and alcohol abuse, smoking and 
other threats to the public health and well being. 

As we continue to struggle with the question of television violence, however, I 
hope you will accept CBS s good faith reaffirmation of our concern as to how vio- 
lence is depicted on our network and our reassurance of our commitment to apply 
reasonable standards to our programming reflecting that high degree of concern. 

We accept in both a corporate and a personal sense the responsibility to work to 
resolve this issue. I am the proud father of a ten month old son, and a member of 
a senior management team which includes many parents of young children. We reg- 



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ularly discuss whether we would be comfortable having our own children watch 01 
what we are distributing to the children of others. ^ 

For if we separate, lixe church and state, our corporate values from our personal '^ 
values, then we broadcast programs to others we would not be willing to share with 
our own family and friends. We are guests in the living rooms of America, so our ^ 
personal values should be the most useful litmus test oftaste and the surest guide 9 
to decency and sensitivity. That is not just preferable to censorship; in the end, it ^ 
is likely to be more efTective in a democratic society. 

Thank you, and 1 will be happy to attempt to answer any questions members of * 
the committee may have. ■ 

II 



1:00 



CBS PRIME TIMK 1993 

8:30 9:00 9:30 



10:00 



10:30 



MURDER. SHE WROTE 


CBS SUNDAY MOVIE 


EVENING SHADE 


DAVE'S WORLD 


MURPHY BROWN 


LOVE & WAR 


NORTHERN EXPOSURE 


RESCUE 911» 


CBS TUESDAY MOVIE 


HEARTS AFIRE 


THE NANNY 


SOUTH OF SUNSET 


48 HOURS 


IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT 


EYE TO EYE WITH CONNIE CHUNG . 




DIAGNOSIS MURDER: 
STARRING DICK VAN DYKE 


BOB 


FAMILY ALBUM 


PICKET FENCES 


DR. QUINN. MEDICINE WOMAN 


HARTS OF THE WEST 


WALKER. TEXAS RANGER 



SUNDAY 

7:00/60 Minutes 

MONDAY 

TUESDAY 

WEDNESDAY 

THURSDAY 

FRIDAY 

SATURDAY 



The Chairman. Mr. DeVaney. 

STATEMENT OF AL DeVANEY, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT & 
GENERAL MANAGER, WPWR-TV CHANNEL 50; AND BOARD 
CHAIRMAN, ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT TELEVISION 
STATIONS, INC. 

Mr. DeVaney. Good afternoon, members of the committee, my 
name is Al DeVaney. I am the senior vice president and general 
manager of WPWR Television in Chicago, and I serve as the chair- 
man of the board of the Association of Independent Television Sta- 
tions. INTV is a nonprofit trade association, representing local sta- 
tions that are not affiliated with ABC, CBS, or NBC. 

The discussions surrounding the many causes of violence in 
America will continue long after this hearing. If we have learned 
nothing else today, we have learned that. 

But I recognize that this is not the issue before us today. Con- 
gress is looking for television to do its part, and your message has 
been heard loud and clear by the independent stations. As federally 
licensed stations, we have an obligation to you, to live up to con- 
gressional expectations regarding our performance. 

Independent stations are doing their part. In June, INTV adopt- 
ed a two-prong program to address television violence; and a copy 
of that program is attached to my written statement. First, to help 
g^de stations, we enacted programming guidelines for entertain- 
ment programs and promotional announcements. Second, INTV en- 



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97 

to provide on-air advisories for those profiprams 
violent scenes that parents might find unsuitable for 
ddldren. In find, we were the first television organization to enact 
siidi H program. 

I am happy to report to you that all INTV members, and 53 
nonmember independent stations, have enacted our proeram guide- 
lines or have established individual station policies of their own, 
that are consistent with INTV standards. Virtually all of our mem- 
bers, and the 53 nonmember stations, are proviaing or intend to 
provide advisory messa^s. 

Our program is working. Last week, we commenced a survey re- 
garding local television station performance. While complete results 
are not in yet, early responses tell us that stations are taking the 
proeram very seriously. Stations are rescheduling programs, espe- 
dafly movies, if they contain violence, and they are moving them 
to a later time period. Stations are editing programs that contain 
violent scenes; and stations are providing advisories to parents and 
all viewers. 

Mr. Chairman, my written testimony will provide to you numer- 
ous examples of the types of programs that fall under our new 
standards. At my own station, we nave added parental advisories 
to most of our so-called action hours, and also, to action movies. 
And we are more careful now, evaluating the purchase and sched- 
uling of movies. 

As an example, we recently rescheduled an ediled-for-television 
version of Bonnie and Clyde, because we were concerned about the 
violent content. And we recently declined to purchase a certain svn- 
dicated movie package, because of its violent content. As a further 
example of how sensitive we have become on this issue, we have 
gone so far as to label The Three Stooges, because otners have 
pointed out there are violent acts in The Tnree Stooges. 

Of course, INTV cannot force our stations to comply with this 
program; it is voluntary. But nevertheless, there appears to be a 
new ethic developing in our industry. Concerns about violence are 
influencing station decisions, with respect to scheduling, editing 
and purchasing of programming. 

It is for that reason that I respectfully request that you follow 
the suggestions of many who have appeared before me today, and 
refirain from legislating at this time. 

Attorney General Reno said this morning that this is the key 
issue. Attempts to define violence will be extremely difficult. For 
example, one study on this subject, which surveyed programs in 
February 1993, found variety shows, such as the 25th Anniversary 
of Rowan and Martin's Laugh -In, to be the most violent genre of 
proeramming. 

^so, how does the Government distinguish between good vio- 
lence, contained in historical dramas, sucn as Gettysburg or The 
Civil War, and bad violence? 

There is also a second issue within all of this, that Mr. Stringer 
pointed out, and that is the one of a market imbalance. Given po- 
tentially vague regulatory definitions, and faced with the potential 
loss of license, most over-the-air television stations may avoid 
broadcasting programs with any type of action. If that happens, 
these programs — including movies like John Wayne movies — will 



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simply shift to pay cable networks, which appear to be exempt from 
any legislative proposals. 

This should be of real concern to you, given the fact that the 
cable industries trend to market more pay and pay-per-view serv- 
ices. In the end, adults not sui)scribing to cable will see popular 
programs disappear, and the Government will have decided tnat it 
is OK to be exposed to violence, as long as you have the money to 
buy a VCR antvor pay cable services. 

in short, legislation may unintentionally create unique, adverse 
conditions on advertiser-dependent, over-the-air television; and will 
ultimately do nothing more than shift the source of violent TV, not 
eliminate it. 

Let me say again that INTV is very committed to working with 
you on this issue, Mr. Chairman. Our new pro-am is now an ongo- 
ing process; our efforts will not end with this hearing. We have 
made sign^ificant progress over the last few months, and I believe 
the television industry as a whole can live up to your expectations. 

I thank you again, tor giving me the opportimity to appear before 
you today. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. DeVaney follows:] 

Prepared Statement, of Al DeVaney 

Good morning Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. M^ name is Al 
DeVaney. I am senior vice-president and general manager of WPWR-TV, Channel 
50 in Chicago. I am also chairman of the ooard of the Association of Independent 
Television Stations, Inc. (INTV) and speak to you today on behalf of local Independ- 
ent television stations across the country.^ 

Independent stations are keenly aware of the levels of violence plaguing American 
society.. None of us is immune from violent crime. For years, social scientists have 
hoUy debated the causes of violence. No doubt this debate will continue long after 
this hearing. There are no easy answers. 

These hearings underscore the plain and simple fact that Congress is looking to 
the television industry to do its part. I believe the television industry in general, 
and Indeoendent stations in particular, are taking significant steps towards ad- 
dressing the problem. 

Certamly, more can be done. However, the voluntary actions taken bv the indus- 
try are working. There is no need to move forward with legislation at tnis time. In- 
deed, legislation may be counterproductive because of the legal complexities in- 
volved. Also, there are unforeseen economic and social consequences to legislating 
in this area. INTVs program — and that of the networks and many cable systems — 
should be siven a chance to work. I truly believe that we will live up to your expec- 
tations witnout the need for legislation. 

INTV'S two-pronged PROGRAM TO ADDRESS VIOLENCE 

Last January, INTV appointed a subcommittee of its board of directors to examine 
television violence and adopt a program to address the issue of television violence. 
In June, the INTV board adopted a two part program to address the issue of tele- 
vision violence. 

First, we enacted a set of suggested programming policies specifically directed at 
programs depicting violence. Our goal was to increase the sensitivity of stations on 
this issue, in an elTort to reduce levels of violence that may appear on Independent 
television. 

Second, INTV recommended that its member stations employ a system of advisory 
messages for all programs that the station believes contain unavoidable violent con- 
tent wnich some parents may not wish their children to see. INTV was the first tele- 
vision station organization to adopt a system of advisory messages directed at vio- 
lence. 

The following outlines the basic principles established for INTV member stations.^ 



^INTV is a non-profft trade association representing local television stations that are not af- 
filiated with the "^ig three" networks, ABC, CBS or NBC 



„ . BC. 

*A copy of our policy is attached to this tevtimony as Exhibit I. 



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99 

• Violence ihould be depicted only when neoesseiy, and to no gresscr ^oeoK ihmr, 
neoenary to the develo|«ient of the story line, plot, oontczt or these at or dbjc- 
•cter in, a television projpmm. 

• Depktion of violence in sudi a way as to glamorize violent bchavicr cr %c : 
car trivialiie its conaeqoences to either the victim, the perpeCrazor. sr ncjesr 
be avoided. 

• Depiction of violence in such a way as mi^t be instructive or as =^^ i 
imitative behavior should be avoided. 

• Presentation of programs depicting violence and the depiciaac of 
■hould not be undertaken solely as a means of exploitinjg or Aoatsng the anrfirnrp 

• The depiction of violence in a sexual context requires special secslirnv 
a c ap e c t to its potential to exploit, debase, demean, shock or stisnilaie. Vir' 
never should be depicted so as to appeal to the prurient interesi of the mat 

• Graphic or detailed depiction of violence or dwelling on gore. pain, or | ' 
Bmllering should be avoided. 

• The special needs of children should be considered, anc speaai care : 
teken, in scheduling and editing of programs and promotionaT materials whicii 20- 
clude the depiction or description of violent behavior. 

• Depiction of violent acu in a manner which mi^i distress or frigftAen 1 
should be avoided in programming intended primarily for children. 

Tlie above polices are intended to apply to entertainment progn 
anotwnal materials. The policies are not intended to inhibit journalistic or < 
diacretion in the coverage and reporting of news or sports eventa. 

INTVs program goes beyond basic guidelines. Stations are encooragpd to i 
idewers throng appropriate on-air advisories that spediic programa mntaia de 
tiona of violence so that viewers can make informed viewing drrisinna ISTV9 ] 
gramjprovides examples of the type of advisories that stations may 

• Toe following program depicu violent acts or behavior. 

• Tlie following program depicts violent acts or behavior. Viewer < 
vised. 

• Tlie following program depicts violent acts or behavior which may be 1 
for diildren. Parental discretion is advised. 

• The foUowing program involves realistic portrayals of human behavior, i 
ing acta of violence, wluch may be disturbing to some viewers. 

• The foUowing program involves realistic portravals of human behav 
ing acta of violence, which may be disturbing to children. Parental T' 
vised. 

We believe a system of basic principles coupled with the vohintaiy use of i 
meaaages ia an important step in prDiecting children from programs thesr j. 
believe are unsuitable. Our approach reflects a concern for the youth is. msr i 
enoea, and is a realistic sohition given the status of Independent staJons ia lodar^m 
media marketplace. 

Of course, as a trade association, INTV' cannot force stations 10 comply with 1 
program. As a result, compliance with the prin cip les established in our 
must, of necessity, be voluntary. Nevertheless, INT\' has found ihai bcxi: i 
ber and even non -member Independenl stations unilaleraily are laki:ig 
stepa to meet CongressiG.ial cGr.cems. 

Independenl Stations are enacUng (xUunlary program ^Uuuumu 

Since June, the INTV staff has oGr.vacUrd ever/ Iridepende.ii Kaiios in iae 
try, including those that do not beior^ lo I.NT\'. We have had hundreds of tcjej 
calla and meetings discussing the ;m^.*nance of thi& :&sue. 

I am happy to report that ali &i INTV member stations have anoptfd IX 
guidelines or have specific station ^^idelines consister.i with INTTs scandard^^ 
terma of national audience reach. lr,i& represents the \^rg^\ segment of the c^ 
mercial Independent television indur.ry. 

As for non-members, 53 statioris have adopted INTV's gtiide.^e^ or have 
standards that are connstent with LNTV's guidelines. Tnere are. of csrjrse. 
ona stations that are not numbers of INTv that may oe caU:gor.2ed as I1 
ent* However, the vast majority of these sutions tr:^dcasl either a j&reagn 
guage, reliflous or shoppir.g forrr^t. Aoxrdir.g:/, rr^any r/:,r.rrjerrifeT siaijocs 
cated that BiTVs gaideVir.e^ are not rfele-zant X/j their progra.T. forrrAt 

Virtually all of INTVs merr.M:r% are pro vi ding or :r.ter.d 'x, provyae 
adviaoriea. Only two stations ind/cau&d that they have not -^«ed parental i 
beca^F*^ they don*t air viclent pro^anrui. The 53 non-mE;rri:ier sutions 







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INTV's guidelines indicated that they are providing or intend to employ parental 
advisories. 

Stations are changing programming behavior 

Last week INTV surveyed its member stations to determine whether our new pro- 
gram has had an effect on station behavior. Because we have to survey stations di- 
rectly, I am not able to report the complete results of our study. However, partial 
returns indicate that Independent stations have a new sensitivity about violent pro- 
gramming. 

Initial returns indicate that many stations have rescheduled or sdieduled pro- 
grams for later time periods because of concerns about violent content. This resched- 
uling includes movies such as "Cartel," ''Star 80," ''Snake Eater II," Terfect Weap- 
on," and "Def by Temptation." In addition, series programs such as "Cops" and The 
Untouchables" have been scheduled for later time slots. One station responded that 
it moved more action type movies such as the Charles Bronson movies from week- 
end afternoons to late night positions. 

In addition, stations themselves have been editing movies to remove violent con- 
tent. Violent scenes have been edits in movies such as "Helter Skelter," "Little Big 
Man," "Deliverance," "Nightmare on Elm Street," "Alien," "The Enforcer," "Night of 
the Wilding," "Cylone," and the "Terminator." 

An overwhelming number of the initial respondents are now providing advisories 
for programs that may contain violent content. Movies such as "Bonnie & Clyde," 
"Hanoi Hilton," "Platoon Leader," "Deliverance," "Shark Terror," "Wheels of Fire," 
"The Seven-ups," The Enforcer," "Scarface," "Red Heat," "Alien," "Bruce Lee We 
Miss You," "Fort Apache the Bronx," "Catch 22," and "Smokey and the Bandit" are 
being broadcast with advisory warnings. 

Series such as the "Highlander," "Renegade," "Street Justice," "The Untouch- 
ables," "Kungfu The Legend Continues," "Cobra," and Time Trax" are receiving 
advisories. Some stations are even providing advisories for "Star Trek: The Next 
Generation" and "Star Trek Deep Space Nine." 

Generally, stations are becoming more concerned about violent content. For exam- 
ple, one station indicated that it will carefully scrutinize a program distributor's ed- 
iting of movies such as "Predator II," "War of the Roses," "Sleeping with the 
Enemy," and "Flight of the Intruder" to determine whether the station should air 
the program at all. Another stated that it 'lias made a conscious decision to soften 
our weekend movie lineup Horror movies have been eliminated from the weekend 
lineup. Action movies have been severely cut back in favor of more family movies, 
comedies, and dramas." 

It is significant to note that rescheduling, edition and providing advisories are not 
mutually exclusive. Some stations are rescheduling, editing and providing 
advisories. For example, one station rescheduled the movie "Alien and provided an 
advisoiy. 

Importantly, INTVs program has only been in effect since June. We expect the 
effectiveness of our program to increase over time as stations acquire new program- 
ming. The success of INTV's program is evident from the survey's responses regard- 
ing niture behavior. In response to the question whether concerns about violent con- 
tent will influence future program scheduling and editing decisions, all stations re- 
sponded that such concerns will influence such decisions. For example, 71 percent 
indicated these concerns will strongly or highly influence such decisions. Two sta- 
tions stated that violence concerns would moderately influence their scheduling and 
editing decisions. No station indicated that violence would not be a consideration. 

The same holds true with respect to future program purchases. Approximately 61 
percent of the responding stations indicated tnat concerns about television violence 
would strongly or highly influence future program purchases. Four stations indi- 
cated that violence would moderately influence program purchases. No station indi- 
cated that violence would not be a consideration. 

While initial responses are encouraging, INTV is not ready to call its program a 
complete success and reduce its efforts in this area. Because each Independent sta- 
tion is responsible for its own programming, we recognize there may be some sta- 
tions that could do a better job.^ INTV views its program as an ongoing process. 
We will continue to educate our member and non-member stations about the impor- 
tance of this issue. 



'Unlike the networks, there is no centralized editing process for Independent stations. Elach 
individual Independent station makes its own scheduling and editing decisions. 



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hUdrtn's exposure to violent programs is minimized on existing program lineups 
Unlike the networks, I am not able to provide you with a specific program lineup 
ir all Independent stations. Program schedules will vaiy station oy station and 
laiitet by market. Nevertheless, there are some general observations that can be 
lade for the typical Independent station. 

Weekdays — Independent stations often program kids shows from about 6K)0- 
9.-00 AM. For the most part this programming consists of animated "cartoon" 
programming. However, with the advent of the Children's Television Act, pro- 
grams that are designed to meet the educational and informational needs of 
children are being added to the morning lineup. For example, at my station we 
broadcast "News for Kids" during the morning time period and we produce ICid 
Talk" a local talk show which addresses subject matter important to children. 
From about 9:00 AM-2:00 PM, Independent stations generally air a mix of 
**off-network" and **first-run" programs, or example, on my station we air ofT-net- 
work programs such as "Gimme a Break," "Little House on the Prairie," Happy 
Days, "Amen," and the "Hogan Family" during this time period. 

From about 2:00 to 4:30 PM, most Independent stations are airing children's 
animated programs. For example, many stations are airing an animated cartoon 
block from Walt Disnev called "The Disney Afternoon." On my station I program 
animated features such as "Widget," "HeathclifT," and "Bugs Bunny." 

At about 4:30 or 5:00 PM, most Independent stations are shifting back to fam- 
ilv oriented "off-network" programs. Typically shows such as "Family Ties," and 
"Who's the Boss" are aired during this time period. On my station we broadcast 
•*Happy Days," "Sanford and Son, and "Roseanne," during this time period. 

On the east and west coast, most Independent stations are broadcasting re- 
cent ofT-network programs between 7-8 PM (6-7 PM central). Generally these 
programs, situation comedies such as "Cheers," "Murphy Brown," and "Rose- 
anne," are aired in the 7-8 PM time period. My station, WPWR, broadcasts 
"Star Trek" from 6-7 PM central. 

From 8-10 PM eastern (7-9 PM central). Independent stations generally shift 
into their prime time lineup. For example, several nights each week an Inde- 
pendent station may broadcast a movie from 8-10 PM. Also, the new "first run* 
shows such as "Star Trek Deep Space Nine," "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues," 
"Time Trax," and the "Untouchables" often begin at 8 PM, eastern (7 PM 
central). 2hose Independent stations with the ri^ts to Major League Baseball, 
NBA basketball or National Hockey League wiH broadcast games during this 
period. 

At 10 PM eastern (9 PM central), many Independent stations broadcast their 
local news. Others continue with a variety of ofT-network" or "first run" pro- 
grams. This pattern continues through 12 midnight. 

yfeekends--On weekends, the average Independent format begins with diil- 
dren's programming from about 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Again, this time period 
largely consists of children's programming. At around 11:00 AM, stations wiU 
broadcast "ofT-network" or "first run programs." Typically an Independent sta- 
tion will broadcast movies from 2-5 PM. Beginning at 5 PM, stations will gen- 
erally broadcast "ofT-network" or "first run" programs for the rest of the 
evening. 
Taking a realistic look at our weekday schedules, it is highly unlikely that you 
ill see a program that any reasonable person would classify as violent before 8 PM 
CST). Prior to this time, most of the "ofT network" or first run programs are family 
riented situation comedies. Also, most Independent stations will not air pro- 
lotional material for violent movies during morning or afternoon children's pro- 
rams. For example, my station WPWR and many others won't accept advertise- 
lents for "R" rated theatrical movies during this time period. 

This is extremely important given Congressional concerns about "latch-kejT ehfl- 
ren. Concern is heightened for these children because there is no parent at home 
I supervise viewing. To the extent most latch-key situations involve the wedcdi^ 
me period from the time when school gets out to the evening hours, when an adult 
\ in the home, there is simply little or no violent programming being broadcast ^y 
Bf-air television stations. _ 

Nevertheless, it is possible that some movies or program series broadcast •**5l[ii 
M may have some violent content. INTV is aware that there are some young^Ml- 
ren, ages 2-12, in the audience during prime-time. However, as mentk>ned above, 
. is during this time period that stations are beginning to provide advisory me«- 
Bges or scheduling programming to later time periods. 

importantly, even during the prime-time hours 8PM-11PM, the vast megority^ o 
lildren are viewing non-violent situation comedies. A review of children's vicMruil 



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102 

gattems in Chicago reveals that the most popular kids shows contain very little vio- 
iDce. 



CbHdren't viewine (ages 2-11), Prime Time 7-10 PM lientral. lllon.-Frl. February 1993 


Pn(i» 


Ratiif 


rfO|fM 


RetiM 


Simpsons ~ 


26 
24 
23 
22 
21 


Step by Step 


21 


Martin 

FuU House » 


Hang'n w/Mr. Coopef 

Wizard of Oi (movie) 


19 
19 


Family Matters 


Fresh Prince of Bel Air ..„ 

Home Improvement 


18 
18 









II 

li 



Seiict: AiMiw. *! 

On balance, I believe industiy efforts to limit or reduce the amount of violence ^, 
on television will succeed. Stations are taking their responsibilities seriously. INTVa ^ 
efforts have sent a signal to our program suppliers that violence will be an impor- ^^ 
tant consideration when scheduling and purchasing new programming. ,, 

LEGISLATION MAY BE COUNTERPRODUCTIVE *J 

By its veiy nature, direct government involvement in content regulation raises se* ^ 
rious First Amendment concerns. There is simply no way to avoid this problem. iMl 
Even if all the m^jor plavers participating in the hearing agreed not to file a law . ttc 
suit, all it takes is one television station, one cable operator or one programmer to Mi 
tie up the new regulations in court for vears. Such a result will undermine the is* !■ 
dusti^s efforts to correct this problem. Moreover, manv of the legislative proposals ijL 
will not solve the problem. Instead it will merely shift allegedly violent program- |^ 
ming on to pay-cabie services. % 

Government efforts to legislate a removal of violent programs raises serious Fir^ ^ 
Amendment concerns .;,^ 

Legislation, sudi as S. 383, which attempts to have the sovemment pn^ibit the 
distnoution of 'Sdolenf video product potentially suffers trom several infirmities. 
The most troublesome aspect of these approadies is for the government to attempt 
to define what is or is not violent. 

Social scientists themselves have never been able to agree on a definition of vio- 
lence. For example, many of the "laboratory^ studies purporting to find a relation- 
ship between video messages and violence have defined violence differently. Some 
measure violence in terms of brief video clips which do not provide any context for 
the violent acts. Some researchers such as Gerbner consider comic acts, such a slap- 
stick, violent. In testimony before the House Telecommunications Subcommittee, 
Professor -Nancy Signorielli released new evidence regarding violent programming 
during prime-time on the networks in February 1993. Not surprisingly she founa 
violent programs broadcast during this period. 

However, one can question whether the programs rated as being violent are in 
fact the tjnpe of programs that most members of the Senate would be conoenied 
about. Professor Signorielli's testimony stated: 

Interestingly, the most violent genre in this week-long sample was the variet' 
shows, including specials on Television's Greatest Moments," TVs Fumui 
Commercials," and the '^th Anniversary of Rowan and Martin's Lau^ In. 

I raise this issue to illustrate the profound definitional problems when govei 
ment attempts to craft regulations that outlaws violence. 1 doubt anybody on t 
Committee would have considered these variety shows as violent programs. 

Definitional problems are compounded by the fact that most legislative measui 
attempt to draw distinctions between "good" violence and "bad" violence. Few 1 
lieve that the government should attempt to edit the news for its violent conte 
Similarly, violence that appears in the context of sporting events, documentaries 
historically accurate movies such as "Gettysburg" would appear to be permissil 

I raise these problems not as an excuse for excessive or gratuitous violence on t 
evision. Rather, the defmitional problems are so difficult that it may be impossi 
for the government to devise a regulatory re^me making such fine distinctio 
Government regulations, especially those that hnk the broadcast of violent progn 
ming to a loss of license, will always be overbroad. There will be a profound chill 
effect on programs that most Senators would find perfectly acceptable. 



^Testimony of Professor Nan^ Signorielli before the House Subcommittee on Telecom" 
cationB and Finance, May 12, 1993 at 3. 



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103 

igulatian wUi mmpiy gkift Voigmf pmgramM to pay-eabU wirtm 
Aiqr effort to desl with the ieaoe of televieioo violenoe must focus uniformly acroes 
D media distribalioii qfileins. Th» inchidee, broadr—ting, basic cable networka. 
nr-per-view, pay-aubacriptioD channela. and other aenrioes such as MMDS-, DBS. 
iOBO dial tone program packagers, and home videos. There is no question that if 
are impoaed on one segment of the industry, viewers who wish to view 
ing win simply shift to program services that are not sub()ect to the 



Uiofeitnnatrjy, some legialative proposals specifically exempt pay-cable channels 
d pay-per-view services. In other words, a viewer can watch the theatrically re- 
■ed and unedited version of *Rambo* when it is first released for home viewing 
renting a asartte or watching a pay-per-view channel. Later, consumers can 
tcfa the name unedited llambo* movie on oay-cable channels such as HBO or 
owtime. However, when the movie is finally made available to broadcast tele- 
km atsKtiona, in a version that has been specifically edited for television, stations 
ly be jwohibited from broadcasting it.^ In other words, television broadcasters will 
prahilnted from broadcasting a movie or program that has already appeared on 
eviaion two or three times. 

i¥hy? Ib the broadcast television audience, which encompasses the entire cable au- 
tnoe, Bomehow more susceptible to acting in an a nti -social manner? Do people 
tchasing pay-cable services have superior parenting skills? 

Bzemptiona for pay-cable services have been justified on the grounds that parents 
rae neater control over the content because thev invite these programs into the 
me oy purchasing the service. However, when caDle subscribers purchase services 
A. aa Snowtime and HBO they are acauiring a package of movies. Some are fam- 
f orientCNd, others are not. Once purcnasecC the same potential for children to 
■tdi a violent proeram without parental supervision exists for these services as 
rdoes for traditional broadcast stations. 

The exemption for pay-cable services makes even less sense given recent the 
mida in the marketing of traditional basic cable services. In response to the FCCs 
lew rate regulation provisions, many cable operators are contemplating moving to 
I It carte iniBrketing for these cable channels. A leading communications industiy 
unlysis firm noted: 

Nevertheless, given recent historical trends, and the new regulations, we sus- 
fleet that the movement toward a la carte will continue. Under the new legisla- 
tion, fees for basic cable programming tiers will come under FCC regulation, but 
services that are offered on a per-diannel basis will not be regulated. Rate in- 
creases for cable programming tiers will be limited; cable operators will there- 
fore be encouraged to offer basic cable services on an a la carte basis in order 
to avoid leffulation.* 
In other woros, cable subscribers will be able to purchase eadi channel on an indi- 
vUnal basis. If such an exemption is allowed, most basic cable networks will fall 
outside the scope of the legislation.'' 

Finally, assuming arguendo, that violent programming will lead children and 
I'Oiing adults to commit violent acts in their later years, does it really matter wheth- 
er the person committing the violent act watched a pay -cable service. The act of vol- 
tntarilY purchasing a pay-cable service is irrelevant to the societal concerns that the 
sgislation seeks to address. If watching television violence is bad, then all distribu- 
ion systems should be held to the same standard. 

dgislaUon will have unique, adverse economic consequences for free, over-the-air tel- 
evision 
Creating exemptions for pay-cable services not only undermines the intent of the 
egislation, but it also will have significant adverse economic consequences to free 



'Most if not all of the films appearing on Independent television have appeared previously 
D television. After the theatrical rdease a movies will be rdeased to the home video market. 
Iiortly thereafter the movie is released to the pay-per-view market. It will then appear on sub- 
aiption cable services such as HBO, Showtime or Cinemax. The movies will then be nnade 
vauable to broadcast stations. 

The movies appearing on video rentals, pay-per-view and cable subecription services are, the 
une version as the theatrical release. Thus if a movies was rated ''R'* for theater exhibition, 
will retain that designation. This is not true for movies appearing on broadcast television, 
efbre releasing a movie for broadcast television, the program distributor, network or local sta- 
on edits the movie. 

•Veronis, Suhler & Associates, Communications Industiy Forecast, 1993 at 114. 
''As we move to the 500 channel universe, presumably most channels will be purchased by 
ible subscribers on a per channel basis. Accordingly, most wire delivered programming nnay 
ill outside the scope of the legislation. 



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over-the-air television. The legislation will have its intended effect. Stations, fearing 
a loss of license will avoid any programs that contain any form of violence. The risk 
is simply too great The problem is compounded by the fact that the FCC will not 
pre-screen all television programs in advance.® This means that several episodes of 
a program series or several movies may be broadcast before a station is aware that 
its programming may be considered to be in violation of the law. Under the Ian- 
pia^e of the legislation, this may constitute a repeated violation of the law, result- 
ing m the repeal of the station's license. The potential for this Catch 22 situation 
means that stations will take extreme measures to insure that none of its program- 
ming contains any form of violence.® 

There is no question that legislation will have a significantly more damaging im- 
pact on free local over-the-air broadcasting than our wire-based competitors.^^ This 
IS especially tnie given the fact that wire-based services can exempt themselves 
from the rules by offering programming services to subscribers on a per-channel 
basis. 

Moreover, the competitive inequity exists even if all cable programming services- 
including pay services, were subject to the same standards. The economics of off- 
air television are based on one single revenue stream — advertising. With legislation, 
advertisers will avoid any programs that have the potential of i:unning afoul of gov- 
ernment regulations. Thus, the revenue to support any type of action adventure pro- 
gramming will evaporate. These programs will leave off-air television. 

Cable program services do not depend solely on advertising revenue for economic 
support. The fees paid by cable operators to the program channels will continue to 
be a strong source of revenue. Thus, even if advertising on some cable programs di- 
minishes, fees from subscribers will maintain the economic health of these services. 
Indeed, program prices for cable may be reduced. Because broadcasters will no 
longer bid for action adventure type shows, programmers will have only one avenue 
to distribute such programming — cable. Fewer bidders generally means reduced 
prices. 

Finally, even if the standards were applied equally to broadcast stations and cable 
program services, cable will have greater flexibility in its program selection. If a 
broadcaster airs a program or series of pro-ams that are ultimately found to violate 
the law, the FCC is required to immediately revoke the license. This is a death sen- 
tence which stations will go out of their way to avoid. 

Alternatively, what happens if a 1>asic cable programming service telecasts a 
program that violates the legislation? The FCC has no authority to take away a 
cable operator's franchise. Such decisions are left to local authorities. Moreover, the 
FCC has no direct authority to require a cable programmer to cease operations. 
While the FCC may be able to impose fines on cable operators, such a penalty is 
vastly different from the "death sentence" envisioned for off-air television stations. 

Because of the disparate enforcement treatments basic cable programming serv- 
ices may be in a position to take more risks with respect to the programs they tele- 
cast. This gives such services a decided competitive advantage. 



*The current restrictions on indecent programs serves as an example. The FCC does not pre- 
screen programs to see whether or not the shows are indecent. The Commission only responds 
to complaints about programming that has already been broadcast 

INTV is not arguing for a system where the FCC pre-screens programs. Since its inception 
the Commission has steadfastly avoided becoming a national censorship board. It has correcUy 
decided that cannot engage in such activity consistent with basic First Amendment principles. 
As a result, its only enforcement mechanism is to address complaints about programs after they 
have been broadcast 

* Further compounding the problem is the fact that the definition of violence is necessarily 
vague. For example if the FCC ultimately adopts Prof. Signorielli's definition of violence, then 
virtually all programming will have to be removed from of fair television. 

^This is not simply a case of greedy broadcasters attempting to maximize additional profits. 
As a class, Independent television stations are already in economic jeopardy. NAB*s 1993 Tde- 
vision Financial Report noted that approximately 25 percent have negative pre-tax profits. The 
problem is particularly acute in small markets. The median pre-tax profit margin for the Inde- 
pendent television industiy is approximately $54,000. The median pre-tax profit margin for netr 
work affiliates is $671,000. Moreover, the FCC has reported that some Independent stations will 
go dark by the end of the decade. 

Further erosion of our competitive situation will directly impact our ability to acquire good 
Quality programs. For example, the highly acclaimed science program ''Beakman's World" which 
first appeared on many Independent sUtions cost approximately $200,000 an episode. Recently, 
this prq^m was bid away from Independent stations and acquired by CBS. 

It IS simply unrealistic to expect Independent stations to acquire top quality children's pro- 
grams in an environment where our major competitors are not subject to the same set of regu- 
latoiy overnght 



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CONCLUSION 

INTV is oommitted to working with the Congress to address the issue of television 
violenoe. We have made real progress in the few months since our two part program 
was enacted. We have sent a strong message to our program suppliers that concerns 
aboat violenoe will be an important consideration in our future orogram plans. Dur> 
ing the interim we are providing advisories, editing, and rescheouling programs that 
may contain violent content. 

INTV does not believe legislation is necessai^ at this time. The legal complexities 
and oompetitive imbalance involved may impair our efforts to improve television. 
We have diarted an irreversible course towards rectifying the problem. 1 hope you 
win give us a diance to prove that we can live up to your expectations. 



EXHIBIT I— GENERAL POUCY OUTUNE 

1. Tliese policies apply to programs and to promotional material, are directed 
solely at entertainment programming, and in no way are designed to inhibit journal- 
istic or editorial discretion in the coverage and reporting of news or sports events. 

2. Violence should be depicted only when necessary, and to no greater extent than 
necessary, to the development of the story line, plot, context, or theme of, or char- 
acter in, a television program. 

3. Demction of violence in such way as to glamorize violent behavior or to ignore 
or trivialize its consequences to either the victim, the perpetrator, or society should 
be avoided. 

4. Depiction of violence in such way as might be instructive or as might suggest 
imitative behavior should be avoided. 

5. Presentation of programs depicting violence and the depiction of violenoe 
should not be undertaken solely as a means of exploiting or shocking the audience. 

6. The depiction of violence in a sexual context requires special sensitivity with 
respect to its potential to exploit, debase, demean, shock, or stimulate. Violence 
never should be depicted so as to appeal to the prurient interests of the audience. 

7. Graphic or detailed depictions of^ violence or dwelling on gore, pain, or physical 
suffering should be avoided. 

8. The special needs of children should be considered, and special care should be 
taken, in the scheduling and editing of programs and promotional materials which 
include the depiction or description of violent behavior. 

9. Depiction of violent acts in a manner which might distress or frighten children 
should be avoided in programming intended primarily for children. 

10. In appropriate circumstances, the station may determine to inform viewers 
throu^ appropriate on-air advisories that specific programs contain depictions of 
violent benavior so that individual viewers may make informed viewing decisions 
and avoid unexpected depictions of violence which are unsuited to their particular 
tastes. Such advisories might state: 

The following program depicts violent acts or behavior." 

The following program depicts violent acts or behavior. Viewer discretion is 
advised." 

The following program depicts violent acts or behavior which may be unsuit- 
able for children. Parental discretion is advised." 

The following program involves realistic portrayals of human behavior, in- 
cluding acts of violence, which may be disturbing to some viewers." 

The following program involves realistic portrayals of human behavior, in- 
cluding acts of violence, which may be disturbing to children. Parental discre- 
tion is advised." 

The Chairman. Thank you very much. Mr. Cox. 

STATEMENT OF WINSTON H. COX, CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EX- 
ECUTIVE OFFICER, SHOWTIME NETWORKS INC^ and CHAIR- 
MAN, NATIONAL CABLE TELEVISION ASSOCIATION'S SAT- 
ELLITE NETWORK PROGRAMMERS COMMITTEE 

Mr. Cox. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My name is Tony Cox. I am 
chairman and chief executive officer of Showtime Networks Inc. 
Showtime Networks is a subsidiary of Viacom International, and 
we own and operate three subscription premium television net- 
works: Showtime, The Movie Channel, and FLIX. 



73-297 0-94-5 

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I also serve as chairman of the National Cable Television Asso- 
ciation's Satellite Network Programmers Committee, which coordi- 
nates the interests of nearly all the satellite programming net- 
works who license their programming services for carriage by cable 
operators. There are nearly 40 network members of this committee. 

I welcome this opportunity to discuss our mutual concerns with 
you today. The primary role I serve today is to speak with you from 
my position as chairman of the NCTA Satellite Network Program- 
mers Committee, and it is in this capacity that I begin my re- 
marks. 

In response to Senator Simon's Television Progjram Improvement 
Act of 1990, cable networks, under the auspices of the NCTA, com- 
missioned Dr. George Gerbner of the Annenberg School of Commu- 
nications, a recognized expert in the field, to conduct a study on the 
amount of violence in programming originally produced for cable 
television. We needed baseline information, in order to respond 
properly to this issue. 

The Gerbner study showed that cable-originated children's pro- 
gramming was less violent than children's programming on the 
broadcast networks. However, the study also showed that the level 
of violence on cable-originated programming, as a whole, was about 
the same as the level of violence on the broadcast networks. 

The Satellite Network Programmers Committee, therefore, devel- 
oped a four-point plan that focused on the issue of televised vio- 
lence. As an initial step, we imanimously adopted a policy state- 
ment regarding violence that will govern our future eflForts. I will 
not read it here, but it is included in our written testimony. 

The second step of our plan was to encourage each of our cable 
network members to develop, by the end of this year, its own writ- 
ten standards and practices guidelines, for those networks that did 
not already have them. This is a helpful step. Remember, many of 
the cable networks are very new; in fact, at least one-half dozen 
new networks have been announced this year. And for some, such 
as religious or shopping networks, violence is not a programmatic 
issue. 

The third step of our plan was active participation by the cable 
networks in the Industry- Wide Leadership Conference on Violence 
in Television Programming that was held in Los Angeles this past 
August. Just prior to this conference, all of the major cable net- 
works that produce original dramatic programming agreed to im- 
plement the advance parental advisory program that was devel- 
oped by the broadcast networks last summer. 

Finally, the Satellite Network Programmers Committee has com- 
mitted itself to commissioning a followup study, to assess whether 
the level of violence on cable-originated programming has dimin- 
ished. 

In the meantime, representatives of the Satellite Network Pro- 
grammers Committee, along with representatives of the MPAA, are 
meeting on an ongoing basis with the motion picture and television 
creative guilds to develop an action plan to review and reduce the 
amount of gratuitous violence depicted in new motion pictures and 
television programs. 



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107 

I think all of these actions demonstrate the seriousness with 
which the cable networks are treating the issue of television vio- 
lence. 

I would now like to speak with you on behalf of Showtime Net- 
works, including sharing with you our general views on the Senate 
bills tnat are the immemate subject of today's hearing. 

Let me first discuss Showtime's philosophy about its program- 
ming and some of the policies it has in place — ^policies adopted by 
Showtime because we thought it served the needs of our subscrib- 
ers not because of any Government-imposed requirements. 

Consistent with our viewers' preferences and the important 
rights and principles embodied in the first amendment, Showtime's 
programming reflects a wide range of ideas and expressions. 
Showtime believes that the depiction of violence in any medium — 
be it print, on the stage, on movie screens or television screens, in- 
cluding cable television — ^is a legitimate representation of what is, 
unfortunately, a part of our lives, so long as it is not gratuitous, 
or treated as ah easy solution to human problems. 

Therefore, motion pictures and television programs containing vi- 
olence are, and should be, available as part of our programming of- 
ferings to our subscribers, especially to informed subscribers. And 
I emphasize ''informed." 

To this end. Showtime Networks, and other premium services 
such as HBO, long ago created guidelines concerning the promotion 
and scheduling of programs that contain violence or mature 
themes. We also, long ago, adopted the practice of providing view- 
ers with appropriate on-air advisory information. 

Under Showtime's guidelines, we do not exhibit any program 
that we believe to be outside socially accepted standards of enter- 
tainment, or any program that is gratuitous or excessive, in either 
violent or sexual content. It is our policy not to exhibit any picture 
rated X, or NC-17, by the MPAA, or any unrated picture that we 
believe would qualify for either of those ratings. 

To provide our subscribers with information about a program so 
that they may wisely exercise their election to view or not view a 
particular program, we precede each exhibition of a motion picture 
with an on-screen visual stating the picture's MPAA rating. For 
original programs not rated by tne MPAA, we have developed our 
own form of advisory, and we precede each exhibition of these pro- 
grams, also, with an advisory when we feel that parental discretion 
is warranted. 

Showtime is now in the process of expanding its on-air 
advisories. By the end of the year, we plan to implement an even 
more comprehensive program, providing even more information as 
to why viewer discretion is recommended: For example, because of 
violence or strong language or sexual content or mature themes, 
such as child abuse. This will ^o far beyond the advance parental 
advisory program which we adopted this summer, in giving our 
viewers content information. 

Showtime's efforts to minimize children's exposure to violence on 
television do not stop at advisories. Every month various execu- 
tives, including myself, meet to decide the time of day most appro- 
priate for eacn program's exhibition. We know that children are 
more likely to watcn television during the day and early evening. 



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so we are sensitive to programs exhibited before 8 p.m. We do not 
exhibit any R-rated motion pictures before this hour, in the East- 
em and Pacific Time Zones, on Showtime. 

In fact, our evaluation of a program may lead us to decide it 
should not be scheduled until after 9 p.m., or after 10 p.m., or even 
later. 

Similarly, we are sensitive in scheduling program promotional 
information. For example, when promoting some programs with 
violent or otherwise mature subject matter, we will create two ver- 
sions of a promo: One for daytime use, another more suitable for 
exhibition at night. 

We will also be including viewer advisories on promotional spots 
that promote proenrams for which we will be running "violence" 
advisories, even if the promotional spots themselves do not depict 
any violence. Some progjrams are simply deemed unsuitable to be 
promoted during the day, regardless of the content of the promo. 

Finally, we do not promote R-rated pictures, or comparable origi- 
nal progframs, near any program designed for children's viewing. 

We feel that Showtime Networks has already gone a long way to 
ensure that children are not unwittingly exposed to violent or oth- 
erwise objectionable programming, both by creating a comprehen- 
sive system of ratings and advisories — one that goes beyond the ap- 
proacn recommended by S. 943 — and by implementing a respon- 
sible and responsive scheduling policy — not dissimilar from that 
proposed in S. 1383, even though S. 1383 would appropriately ex- 
empt premium channels from its requirements. 

When thinking about these issues, one should also be mindful of 
the many protections built into the process by which a person 
chooses to subscribe to, and view, a cable television network. These 
are the protections which prompted the exemption proposed in S. 
1383, for premium and pay-per-view networks. 

With broadcast television, viewers have access to programming 
they did not expressly invite into their homes. They need only push 
the on-air button of their TV sets and turn the channel selector to 
receive all the over-the-air broadcast channels. 

With basic cable, however, viewers must first make a conscious 
choice to receive a package of basic cable programming, and they 
must pay to receive it. And since many cable networks are "niche" 
networks that exhibit and promote themselves as exhibiting, one 
particular "genre" of programming, cable subscribers are not apt to 
be surprised by the programming they may find on, say, a Nickel- 
odeon, ESPN, Discovery, or CNN. 

However, since most basic cable networks are currently pur- 
chased on a "bundled" basis, together with other basic cable net- 
works, consumers indeed may find that they have access to certain 
networks they would not have chosen. 

A cable subscriber who does not want to view a particular pro- 
gram service, however, can obtain a parental control device, which 
can be activated by the subscriber to "lock out" selected cable chan- 
nels. We also know that cable systems soon will have expanded ca- 
pabilities for subscriber selection and control. 

One example of that technology is StarSight, in which Viacom 
has a significant investment. StarSight is a sophisticated electronic 
menu, capable of performing a host of functions including — impor- 



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tant to these discussions — program blocking functions. Some sat- 
ellite-delivered services are already transmitting electronically 
coded pro&prams to backyard TVRO dish owners, enabling viewers 
to blocK au programs containing a particular ratings code. 

The worla of premium television, which includes Showtime's net- 
works, has even greater safeguards built into it. Consumers must 
make an affirmative election to subscribe to a specific premium 
network and they must pay a specific fee each month for tnat serv- 
ice. No one is surprised to find Showtime or HBO in their homes. 
And if our subscribers consider our programming to be inappropri- 
ate, unsuitable or unappealing, they easily exercise the ultimate 
act of control and personal responsibility — they cancel their sub- 
scription without sacrificing any of their other viewing options. 

As you can tell, I am enthusiastic about the benefits available 
through the current and emerging technology in the television in- 
dustry and about the steps we at Showtime and we in the cable 
and broadcast television industry generally, have taken, and are 
continuing to take, in this area. 

The television and motion picture communities are working dili- 
gently to achieve the same ends that the three pieces of legislation 
seek to achieve: The reduction of children's unwitting exposure to 
violent television and motion picture programming. And our efforts 
are paying off. All of television is addressing this issue with a seri- 
ousness and commitment that is unprecedented and that will con- 
tinue. 

The industry has found appropriate ways to deal with significant 
social issues. Depiction of drug usage in dramatic programming has 
disappeared; you hardly see tobacco or alcohol consumed; seatbelts 
get tastened. 

For this reason, I do not believe that any of the proposed legisla- 
tion is necessary at the present time. And, if we continue to 
progress, as I know we will, legislation will never be necessary. 

In all events, legislation in this area, including each of these 
bills, is troubling from a first amendment standpoint. But, as I 
said, we have heard your concerns. We share those concerns. Let 
us continue our efforts to accomplish on our own that which the 
Senate bills seeks to accomplish through Government mandate. 

I have every confidence that our commitment — not only at 
Showtime, but the commitment of all other networks — combined 
with marketplace forces, will ensure that result. Thank you. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Cox follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Win^on H. Cox 

Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee. My name is Win- 
ston Cox. I am Chairman and Chief Executive OfTicer of Showtime Networks Inc. 
Showtime Networks, which is a subsidiary of Viacom International Inc., owns and 
operates three subscription premium television networks— Showtime, The Movie 
Cnannel and FLIX, as well as a ''multiplexed", or second, channel of Showtime, 
^owtime also operates Viacom's one-half interestin All News Channel, a 24-hour 
news service. I have held my position with Showtime for over six years. 

I also serve as Chairman of the National Cable Television Association's (NCTA) 
Satellite Network Programmers Committee, which coordinates the interests of near- 
ly all the satellite programming networks who license their programming services 
for carriage by cable operators. There are nearly forty network members of this 
Committee (a list of these member networks is attached to my written testimony). 
In addition to being Chairman of this Committee of the NCTA, I am a member of 
the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the NCTA. I also serve on 



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the Board of Directors of All News Channel, as well as the Board of Directors of 
Lifetime, a basic network in which Viacom has a one-third interest. 

Before joining Showtime. I spent ei^ht years at Home Box OfTice in a variety of 
positions, the last of which was President of the Network Group. Prior to that I 
worked at Time Incorporated in magazine publishing with life. Money and People 
magazines. 

As you may know, this summer I testified on the topic of violence on television 
before Congressman Markers House Committee on Eneivv and Commerce, Sub- 
committee on Teleconununications and Finance, as I did last winter before Con- 
gressman Schumer^s House Judiciaiy Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice. 
Frank Biondi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Viacom International Inc. 
has also testified on this issue before the Senate Judiciarv Subcommittee on the 
Constitution. As you can see. Showtime and Viacom are pleased to participate in 
dialogues on this important topic and have been vocal ana visible industry spokes- 
persons. I welcome this additional opportunity to discuss our mutual concerns about 
the viewing by children of violent programs on television and to share with you gen- 
erally our views about the three Senate bills that are the subject of today's hearing. 

NCTA Activities. The primary role I serve today is to speak with you from my 
position as Chairman of the NCfTA Satellite Network Programmers Committee, and 
it is in this capacity that I begin my remarks. 

In response to the Television Program Improvement Act of 1990, which enabled 
television producers, programmers and distrioutors to collectively examine the issue 
of violence on television, cable networks, under the auspices of the NCTA, commis- 
sioned Dr. George Gerbner of the Annenberg School for Communication, a recog- 
nized expert in the field, to conduct a study on the amount of violence in program- 
ming onginally produced for cable television. We needed baseline information in 
order to respond properly to this issue. The Gerbner study, completed last winter, 
showed that cable originated children's programming was less violent than chil- 
dren's programming on the broadcast networks; however, the study also showed 
that the level of violence on cable-originated programming, as a whole, was about 
the same as the level of violence on the broadcast networks. 

The SateUite Network Programmers Committee therefore developed a four-point 
plan that focused on the issue of televised violence. 

(1) As an initial step, we unanimously adopted a policy statement regarding vio- 
lence that will govern our future efforts. That statement is as follows: 

*^e believe that the depiction of violence is a legitimate dramatic and jour- 
nalistic representation of an unavoidable part of human existence. We also be- 
lieve that the gratuitous use of violence depicted as an easy and convenient so- 
lution to human problems is harmful to our industry and society. We therefore 
discourage and will strive to reduce the frequency of such exploitative uses of 
violence while preserving our right to show programs that convey the real 
meaning and consec^ences of violent behavior. To all these ends, we will seek 
to improve communications with our viewers regarding the nature of violence 
appearing in our programs." 

(2) The second step of our plan was to encourage each of our cable network mem- 
bers to develop, by the end of this year, its own written program standards and 
guidelines, for those networks that did not already have them. This is a helpful 
step. Remen^r, many of the cable networks are very new — in fact, at least a naif 
dozeii new networks have been announced this year — and for some, such as reli- 
gious or shopping networks, violence is not a programmatic issue. 

(3) The third step of our plan was active participation by the cable networks in 
the Industry-Wide Leadership Conference on Violence in Television Programming 
that was held in Los Angeles this past August. A number of cable programmers 
worked diligently to develop a meaningful agenda and assure a large turnout by 
leaders of tne entertainment industry. Cable industry leaders, including myselfi 
were also panelists and speakers at the I^s Angeles meeting. 

Additionally, iust prior to this Conference, all of the major cable networks that 
produce original dramatic programming agreed to implement the Advance Parental 
Advisory Program that was proposed oy the broadcast networks last sumnner. (A 
copy of the letter we sent to Senator Paul Simon last July announcing this decision 
by these cable networks is attached to my written testimony.) 

(4) Finally, the Satellite Network Programmers Committee has committed to 
commissioning a follow-up study (which we intend to conduct in two years, after al- 
lowing enougn time for the development of new cable programming) to assess 
whether the level of violence on cable-originated programming has diminished. 

In the meantime, representatives of the Satellite Network Programmers Conunit- 
tee, along with representatives of the Motion Picture Association of America 
(MPAA), are meeting, on an ongoing basis, with the motion picture and television 



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creative ouilds to develop an action plan to review and reduce the amount of gratu- 
itous vtownoe depicted in new motion pictures and television programs. 

tldnk aJl of these actions demonstrate the seriousness with which the cable net- 
works are treating the issue of television violence. 

Showtime Networks. Vd now like to speak with you on behalf of Showtime Net- 
woikSy induding sharing with you our general views on the Senate bills that are 
tiM immediate subject oi today's hearing. 

Senate bill 973 (the Television Violence Report Card Act of 1993") proposes that 
tliA FCC evahiate and rate a sampling of pnmetime and Saturday morning tele- 
visiaii programs and rate the sponsors of those programs 1 in terms of the esctent 
of violence contained in the programs and the extent to which sponsors support pro- 
I containing a hi^ degree of violence. The results of these ratings, a '^le- 
violenoe report card," would then be published quarterly in the Federal Reg- 



S. 943 (the "Children's Television Violence Protection Act of 1993") would require 
the FCC to promulffate rules requiring each video pro-am (other than those shown 
between 11 pm ana 6 am) depicting "violence" (as defined in the bill) or unsafe g[un 
practioes to oe preceded by a visual warning label and audio voice-over advising 
that (1) the program may contain violence or unsafe gun practices, (2) it may acU 
vereely afiect the health of a child, and (3) were the events depicted in the program 
to occur in real life, they could warrant the imposition of criminal penalties. 

Finally, the 'tlhildren's Protection From Violent Programming Act of 1993", S. 
1383, states that warning labels about the violent content of video programs are not 
sufficient. This bill would, in fact, prohibit the public distribution of Solent video 
programming during the houra when children are reasonably likely to comprise a 
substantial portion of the audience". The bill expressly exempts from its scope pre- 
mium and pay-per-view cable television programming. 

Before I turn to Showtime's views on these bills, let me first discuss with you 
Showtime's j^losophy about its programming and some of the policies it has in 
place — ^policies adopted by Showtime voluntarily, not because of any government-im- 
posed requirements. (Consistent with our viewers' preferences and the important 
rights and principles embodied in the First Amendment, Showtime's programming 
reflects a wide range of ideas and expressions. Showtime believes that the depiction 
of violence in any medium — be it print, on the stage, on movie screens or television 
, including cable television — is a legitimate representation of what is, unfor 



tunately, a part of our lives, so long as it is not ^atuitous or treated as an easy 
sohition to human problems. Therefore, motion pictures and television programs 
containing violence are and should be available as part of our program offerings to 
our subscribera, especially to informed subscribers. And, I emphasize informed. 

What an indivioual chooses to read, or chooses to listen to or view or think or 
say, is, ultimately, not for us, or the government, to decide. I don't believe our goal 
shofuld be to control or censor the content of television or anv other form of expres- 
sion. But, given the ubiquitous nature of certain forms of television, those of us in 
the television business do have a responsibility to provide enough information to our 
viewen so they can decide for themselves whether to watch a particular program. 

To this end. Showtime Networks, and other premium services such as HBO, long 
ago created guidelines for our programming services concerning the promotion and 
soiedulinff of motion pictures and other programs that contain violence or mature 
themes. We alsol long ago, adopted the practice of providing viewers with appro- 
priate on-air advisories and guide listing information. Under Showtime's guidelines, 
we do not exhibit any program that we believe to be outside socially accepted stand- 
ards of entertainment, or any program that is gratuitous or excessive in either vio- 
lent or sexual content. It is also our policy not to exhibit any picture rated "X" or 
••NC-IT" by the MPAA, or any unrated picture that we believe would qualify for ei- 
ther of those ratings. 

To provide our subscribera with information about a program, so that they may 
wisely exercise their election to view or not view a particular program, we precede 
each exhibition of a motion picture with an on-screen visual stating the picture's 
MPAA rating. Approximately two-thirds of the programming on Showtime, and vir- 
tually all of the programming on The Movie Channel and FLIX, consists of theat- 
rical motion pictures -thus the vast majority of programming on all of our networks 
is preceded oy a graphic indicating the picture's MPAA rating. For original pro- 
grams, which generally are not rated by the MPAA, we developed our own form of 
advisoiy and we precede each exhibition of these programs with an on-screen view- 
er-advisory when we feel that parental discretion is warranted. 

Showtime is now in the process of expanding its on-air advisories. By the end of 
this year we plan to implement an even more comprehensive program, providing 
even more information as to why viewer discretion is recommended (for example, 



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because of violence or strong language). This will go far beyond the Advance Pcunen^ 
tal Advisory Program, which we adopted this summer, in giving our viewers contenl^ 
information. '^ 

In addition, in the program guides that we produce and in the program schedulei^ 
we furnish to other television listing publications and services, we include MPAAIf^ 
ratings for motion pictures (along with a brief explanation as to why parental dia^V 
cretion may be desirable for a pculicular picture) and our own advisoiy for originalia 
programs, where warranted. We also inform the cable customer sales representa*i« 
tives who sell our program services at local cable systems about our program selee«>vl 
tion and scheduling policies 1 and these sales reps communicate our poucies to po*MJ 
tential subscribers. m 

Showtime's efforts to minimize children's exposure to violence on television do notU 
stop at televised and printed ratings and advisories. Eveiy month various prosram-f^f 
ming, acquisition, scheduling and other executives, including myself, meet to oecide i^ 
the time of day most appropriate for each program's exhibitionr We know that chil- p[ 
dren are more likely to watch television during the day and early evening, so we^< 
are sensitive to programs exhibited before 8:00pm. Because the viewing public gen-ii^ 
erally understands 'R'^-rated motion pictures to be adult in content, we do not ex-i^ 
hibit any **R'' rated motion pictures before this hour (in the Eastern and Pacific time tm 
zones) on Showtime. In fact, our evaluation of a program may lead us to decide that ifl 
it should not be scheduled until afler 9pm, 10pm, or even later. m 

Similarly, we are sensitive in scheduling promotional information about our mov- M 
ies and original programs. For example, when promoting some programs with vio- m 
lent or otherwise mature subject matter, we will create two versions of a promo— ip 
one for daytime use, another more suitable for exhibition at night. We will also be k 
including viewer advisories on promotional spots that promote programs for which «f 
we will De running "violence** advisories, even if the promotional spots themselves ^ 
do not depict any violence. Some programs are simoly deemed unsuitable to be pro- ^^ 
moted during the day, regardless of the content of^ the promo itself. Finally, we do ^ 
not promote 1l"-rated motion pictures (or comparable original pro-ams) adjacent y 
to or near any program designed for children's viewing — not even with a promo oth- i^ 
erwise suitable for daytime viewing. ^ 

We feel that Showtime Networks has already gone a long way in helping to en- | 
sure that diildren are not unwittingly exposed to violent or otherwise objectionable || 
programming — both bv voluntarily creating and implementing a comprehensive sys- ^ 
tem of ratings and advisories, one that goes beyond the approach recommended by \\ 
S. 943, and oy voluntarily implementing a responsible and responsive scheduling \ 
policy, not dissimilar from that proposed in S. 1383, even though S. 1383 would ap- ) 
propriatelv exempt premium channels from its remiirements. . 

When thinking about these issues, one should also be mindful of the many protec- • 
tions built into the process by which a person chooses to subscribe to and view a i 
cable television network (or pay-per-view program). These are the protections which, 
we assume, prompted the exemption proposed in S. 1383 for premium and pay-per- 
view cable networlcs. 

With broadcast television, viewers have access to programming they did not ex- 
pressly invite into their homes. They need only push the "on^-button of their tele- 
vision sets and turn the channel selector to receive all of the over-the-air broadcast 
channels. The intrusiveness of the over-the-air broadcaster is substantially less ap- 
plicable to the cable networks, whether basic or premium. With basic cable, viewers 
must first make a conscious choice to receive a package of basic cable programming, 
and they must pay to receive it. And, since many cable networks are "niche" net- 
works that exhioit one particular genre of pro^amming to a specifically targeted 
audience (for example, sports, government affairs, science, news, the arts or chil- 
dren's programs), and actively promote themselves as offering that particular type 
of programming, cable subscribers are not apt to be surprised by the programming 
they may find on, say, a Nickelodeon, ESPN, Discovery or CNN. 

However, since most basic cable networks are currently purchased on a "bundled" 
basis together with other basic cable networks, consumers indeed may find that 
they have access to certain networks they would not have chosen along with the de- 
sired networks. A cable subscriber who does not want to view a particular program 
service, however, can obtain from his or her cable operator a "parental control de- 
vice", which can be activated by the subscriber to "lock out" selected cable channels. 
We also know that cable systems soon will have expanded capabilities for subscriber 
selection and control. One example of that technology that will become available 
within the next six months is StarSight, in which Viacom has a significant invest- 
ment. StarSight is a sophisticated electronic "menu", an "electronic navigator^ capa- 
ble of performing a host of functions, including listing information, program selec- 
tion and, important to these discussions, program blocking functions. Some satellite- 



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delivered services are already transmitting electronically-coded programs to back- 
yard TVRO dish owners identifying all MPAA-rated programs by their MPAA rat- 
ings; viewers ma^^ then program their descrambling ecfuipment to block all programs 
containing a particular ratings code. 

The world of premium television, which includes Showtime's networks, has even 
greater "safeguards" built into it. In order to view a premium service, consumers 
must make an aflirmative election to subscribe to that specific network and they 
must pay a specific fee each month for that service. No one is surprised to find 
Showtime or HBO in their homes, as they mi^ht be with a broadcast network or 
even some basic cable networks. And, if our subscribers consider our prog[ramming 
to be inappropriate, unsuitable or unappealing, they easily exercise the ultimate act 
of control ana personal responsibility— they cancel their subscription without sac- 
rificing any of tneir other viewing options. 

As you can tell, I am enthusiastic about the benefits available through the current 
and emerging technology in the television industry and about all ofUie steps we 
at Showtime, and we in the cable and broadcast television industry generally, have 
taken, and are continuing to take, in this area. The television and motion picture 
communities are working diligently, on an individual network basis and together 
with other networks, to achieve the same ends that S. 943, S. 973 and S. 1383 seek 
to achieve — ^the reduction of children's unwitting exposure to violent television and 
motion picture programming. And, our efforts are paying ofT. All of television is ad- 
dressing this issue with a seriousness and commitment that is unprecedented and 
that will continue. 

For this reason, I don*t believe that any of the proposed legislation is necessary 
at the present time. And, if we continue to progress, as I know we wiU, legislation 
will never be necessary. In all events, legislation in this area, including each of 
these bills, is troubling from a First Amendment standpoint. But, as I said, I am < 
convinced that these bills are unnecessary. We have heard your concerns. We share 
those concerns. Let us continue our efforts to accomplish on our own that which 
these Senate bills seek to accomplish through government mandate. I have every 
confidence that our commitment (not only Showtime's, but the commitment of other 
networks), combined with marketplace forces, will ensure that result. 

We, like everyone, are concerned about the level of violence in our society, and 
the contribution that the viewing of violence on television may make to that level 
of violence. We are, and will continue to make every effort to be, responsible pre- 
mium television programmers. In thinking about all of these issues, however, we 
should not lose sight of the First Amendment to our Constitution and the values 
behind it — namely, that our society benefits from encourag[ing artists and speakers 
to express and communicate the widest possible range of ideas, and that each lis- 
tener has the right to receive as much, or as little, information (including entertain- 
ment) as he or she desires. We therefore believe that our responsibility is to miJce 
every effort to ensure that a Showtime or Movie Channel subscriber is properly in- 
formed and properly advised about the content of our programs. Then it becomes 
their choice, their responsibility, to decide whether they want to view a program or 
not. 

Thank you for the opportunity to share these views. 

[The letter referred to and a list of Satellite Network Committee members vckWky 
be found in the committee's files.] 

The Chairman. I want to thank each of you. I know each of yoi 
to be of the highest character and integrity. And yet, in essei^fc€ 
what we really have, having practiced a little bit of law, a corrffef 
sion and avoidance appearance. What you really say is, ^vait 
minute — ^as Mr. Valenti has said, all of us are fed up. And rrngi 
on down the list, there is absolutely too much violence, good ^stm. 
lence, bad violence. . 

Some would disagree and say it is not us in the networks, i^ 
cable. Others would say, no, it is different movies or sonnet*"^ 
that is coming on. And then, the committee is admonished ^"^ 
all the avoidances that we have had and to listen to those ^^ 
trust us. . . . 

In other words, we have got the standards and practices diV'msMi 
eliminating excessive and gratuitous violence. We have forxn^ 



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monitoring group, and on down the list. We are working diligently. 
It is paying off. And we ought to join the crusade of Faulkner, 
where we return to the basic verities of truth and justice and de- 
cency. 

And what happens, Mr. Valenti, you say that the parents will in- 
struct. You see, that is the fallacious assumption in all of this, that 
we have parents. We have found out in other committee hearings 
that the single parent family is comprised of at least 61 percent 
women parents and working women mothers. So there is no parent 
around there. And you folks are coming in through the back door, 
throueh the window, and around and behind and before and after. 

Ana when you talk of all of this organization that you are work- 
ing at, and you certainly do not want to, say, deny thoughtful citi- 
zens serious subjects. I go back to 18 years ago, and I do not know 
whether you were here earlier, but I will read it, because we did 
this before, and Mr. Wiley wrote that the Commission concluded, 
and I quote: *The new guidelines represent a major accomplish- 
ment for industry self-regulation. The Commission expresses its op- 
timism that this will be applied in a reasonable manner and will 
be acceptable to the American people." 

You see, we have done it all before. There is an old saving down 
home, there is no education in the second kick of a mule. This is 
about the 16th one I have gotten, and I am still not learning. 

Specifically, now, Mr. Stringer, that is your CBS prime time. 
Now, I know Murder She Wrote, that is not gratuitous violence. I 
mean the murder itself, you have shown a dead body, and that is 
acceptable, but otherwise, there is no gratuitous violence in that 
CBS prime time, is there? 

Mr. Stringer. If you define gratuitous by violence that is de- 
signed to entertain people, I would say there is precious little in 
that. The only violent show that we have put these on outside of 
movies is Walker, Texas Ranger, and it is true that Walker, Texas 
Ranger practices karate. 

The CHAmMAN. Right. But no glamorization of violence? 

Mr. Stringer. I think karate is glamorized in that. But, again, 
this is as old as Robin Hood. I mean, in Walker, Texas Ranger, the 
villains are unHke real life. The villains meet their match. The vil- 
lains are, at the end of the episode, caught, imprisoned. 

Part of the difficulty in listening to the testimony this morning — 
I cannot disagree with the way we sound — is that there is all kinds 
of violence. There has been violence in literature and movies and 
television forever. But I do suggest that that schedule, under pres- 
sure from Senator Simon and yourself, has less violence than any 
CBS network schedule in the last 25 years. And I beHeve that. 

And there are two Emmy award winning dramas. I mean, Mon- 
day night nobody dies. Somebody said earlier that 25 people are 
killed an hour. Well, nobody dies on Monday night. Nobody dies on 
Thursday night. Nobody dies on Friday night. 

So, it is not as if we have ignored you. 

I mean, I was not here 25 years ago. But on the A-Team and the 
westerns an amount of violent television was there. It is self-evi- 
dent that this schedule, albeit under pressure, and I am not deny- 
ing that the media world in general has depersonalized violence 
and we can do better and we nave become more thoughtful under 



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pressure, as well as our own instincts, but that schedule is better 
than it used to be. 

Is it perfect? 

No. But it has got a lot of comedies on it. And some of them are 
not as funny as you would like. But they are not violent. 

The Chairman. Well, let me ask this, then. What about a pro- 
gram not of villains or murder mystery, but just regular middle- 
class folks slugp[ing each other defenseless, slugging each other nu- 
merous times, just in the head, just getting knocked away, hitting 
each other over the head with a bottle and glasses, throwing an in- 
dividual through tlie window, sliding one aown the bar, ramming 
one's head through a nickelodeon and all of that, and somebodv 
standing by and saying, maybe you have been watching too mucn 
television violence? 

Let me show that. I was really interested Monday night. You 
mentioned Monday night. I went home and the staff had given me 
a lot of articles to read on television violence. I was not even watch- 
ing the television until the racket disturbed me. 

Kut that on television, Mr. Stringer's CBS Love and War, and 
tell me whether you think this is gratuitous. This is middle class, 
not villains, just regular folks. 

[A video was shown.] 

Mr. Valenti. Mr. Stringer was right, Mr. Chairman. Nobody 
died. 

The Chairman. Except the credibility of the panel. I can tell you 
that. You can comment as you wish. I mean, seeing is believing. 
All that you all are doing in meeting in panels and getting together 
and malune progress and working diligently and it is paying off- 
no, siree. We have been hearing this for years. 

Mr. Stringer. Well, I will defend the program. That was slap- 
stick. And in her own way, the producer of uiat, who did Murphy 
Brown, she was satirizing television violence. That is the reason 
the pimches do not look real and nothing looks especially real. 

The Chairman. Look real? 

Mr. Stringer. Well, it is in the same spirit of the Three Stooges. 
You may not find it funny, but lots of people found it funny. At the 
end, she made some cracks about the television violence panel. I 
know, for me, it is not the most auspicious timing, this Monday 
nidit But, nonetheless, that was not — the attempt was not to glo- 
rify violence, it was to make it as ridiculous as, indeed, violence in 
a bar actually is. 

The Chairman. But no one gets hurt. There is no consequence. 
They all get back together and talk and so forth. And then they all 
start back fighting again. But that is your opinion. 

Senator Dorgan. 

Senator Dorgan. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. 

I think all of you on the panel are of an age where you have been 
involved in this industry no doubt throughout the 1980's, and most 
of the 1980*s perhaps. The American Academy of Pediatrics con- 
ducted a study in which they concluded the amount of violence on 
television during the 1980's tripled. 

Would you contest that conclusion? Do you generally think that 
is an accurate conclusion? 



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Mr. Stringer. Well, I would think the number of channels tri- 
pled. I do not know the criteria which they used. The eighties was 
a violent — well, the technology of violence improved in movies and 
the whole world. I mean, Terminators and movies like that were 
able to show more and more people killed. 

But were there more on television? 

I do not know. There is certainly a lot less now. 

Senator Dorgan. But you are obviously closer to television than 
we are, and probably closer to be in a situation to know. What do 
vou think? I am just asking. If you start with the contention in this 
hearing that the American Academy of Pediatrics, amon^ others, 
have (&ne studies to say the amount of violence on television tri- 
pled in the decade, I am simply asking do you start with that as- 
sumption that that is probably reasonable accurate, or do you not? 

Mr. Stringer. I start with the assumption that, given the in- 
crease in the amount of television available, it is a statistic that 
might be true. It is not a statistic I am going to agree to, because 
I do not know. 

I do know that comedies — at the beginning of the eighties it was 
announced by one network that comedy is dead and there were not 
very many comedies on. And there were lots of dramas. By the end 
of the decade, there were more comedies on the networks than ever 
before. That is a new statistic. 

Senator Dorgan. But you see, Mr. Stringer, you are soimding to 
me like somebody who sells cigarettes. When they go on Nightline, 
they are still saying there is no demonstration that cigarettes cause 
cancer. Of course there is. 

And I am just asking you, if we define the problem as a signifi- 
cant increase in violence on television, and there are plenty of stud- 
ies that define that, one of which I just cited, I am asking if you 
and the television industry think that is true. Do you start fi'om 
that same base? Because if you do not start from that same under- 
standing, you certainly do not have the same road map that we 
have about where we want to go. 

Do others of you have some notion of believing that at least there 
has been a substantial increase in violence on television? 

Mr. Valenti. I think there has been less violence in movies. 
What I think we have to do. Senator Dorgan — and I do not want 
to quarrel with this committee, I do not want to soimd like a ciga- 
rette maker, I want to try to do something positive. And, by uie 
way, Mr. Chairman, this is the first time in the last 40 years that 
the MPAA has ever been asked to testify at a violence hearing. The 
reason why you do not see my name in any of those records is be- 
cause nobody asked me to testify. 

So, I am not going to assume any guilt for past — Senator Pas- 
tore's hearings, all the way up to yours. I do not absorb any of that 
guilt. I am telling you what we are trying to do now. 

Now, Senator, I do not know how these statistics were arrived 
at. If I say that there is less violence in movies today than there 
was 10 years ago, you might well say, well, how did you come to 
that conclusion? And I do not know how the American Psycho- 
logical Association — unless you watch every television show. 

Now, let me give you some numbers. Senator. This is the real 
world. The movie rating system each year rates about 600 movies. 



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Last year, 616. That is the equivalent of about 1,200 hours a year 
of movies. That is what we do, Senator. 

Each day on American television, satellite delivered to homes, 
cable, et cetera, there are 75,000 hours a day. 

Now, I presume that somebody is watching 75,000 hours a day. 
I do not know. Maybe they have. And if they are, they are deficient 
in sanity to do that. But let us assume that they do. We are deal- 
ing in subjectivity. Senator. This whole thing is subjective. 

Senator Dorgan. Well, I accept that. But let me— you talked, Mr. 
Stringer, and others, about the premium channels versus network 
and so. Let me try to understand that. 

What percentage of the viewers do the networks have — ^the net- 
works, plus Fox, or the networks alone? What percent of the view- 
ers do you command during the day? Is it 50, 60 or 70 percent? 

Mr. Stringer. In prime time it is 60 percent. It is less than that 
in the daytime. 

Senator Dorgan. So, if you talk about 120 channels in Fairfax, 
Media General, 500 channels in the future and so on, lots of pre- 
mium channels, a lot of opportunity to surf or whatever, grazing 
through the channels. But, in prime time, the networks have ap- 
proximately 60 percent of the audience? 

Mr. Stringer. Yes. 

Senator Dorgan. Well, I mean that still is the 500-poimd gorilla. 
Obviously, not as big as it used to be, but if you have got 60 per- 
cent of tne audience tuned to the networks during prime time, then 
it is, it seems to me, legitimate for us to look at what are you put- 
ting on the air? 

Mr. Stringer. Absolutely. 

Senator Dorgan. And what I am trying to do with my question 
is imderstand, do you start from the same position that we start 
fi-om? That, in fact, the amount of violence on television has in- 
creased, and therefore it is a problem we should address? Or do 
you start from a different perception — it is about the same as it al- 
ways was, it has not increased, it has not changed much? That is 
what I am trying to understand. 

Mr. Vradenburg. Senator, I will take a stab at that. 

I think Mr. Stringer may have misspoken and forgotten the 
emerging network. Fox, I think probably amongst the four of us we 
are well into the sixties now, 60 percent of the viewing, and closer 
to 70 some nights in prime time. I would say on those four chan- 
nels, although we have only been around a few years, on those four 
channels, my impression is that the amoimt of violence has de- 
clined. 

Mr. Stringer has said that he thought his schedule was the least 
violent in 25 years. I know that in Fox's fewer years of existence 
violence has declined somewhat over the last 4 or 5 years. So, I 
would say, at least as to those two, and ABC and NBC are not 
here, but it is my impression over the course of 1980 to 1992, or 
1993, that the amoimt of violence in those programs has declined. 

Georee Gerbner, who none of us I think on this panel would 
probably agree with in terms of definitions of violence — ^he is the 
gentleman that thought that the most violent network program- 
ming was Rowan and Martin's 25th Anniversary of Lau^-In. He 



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has recently concluded that the amount of violence on those chan- 
nels has gone down. 

I do not endorse his definitions, but, indeed, it does suggest that 
at least some people out there, even though these people we would 
not agree with in terms of defining the issue, have a different view 
than the study that you have put forward. 

Senator Dorgan. I might ask one additional question. I have 
some others, but I know my time is about up. 

Where was Murder in the Heartland broadcast? What network 
was that? 

Mr. Stringer. I believe it was ABC. 

Senator Dorgan. ABC. 

I use that as an example, because there was a fair amount of 
publicitv about that and I watched the promos for that, and that 
is another thing we have talked about — not necessarilv just the 
programs that are on television during prime time, but the promos 
for the other progprams, which have been over the years incredibly 
sensational, especially during sweeps week. When you get toward 
sweeps week and start looking at the promos for some of these es- 
pecially violent programs, it is really an outrage, in my Judgment. 

But, Murder in tne Heartland, can you tell me, Mr. Stringer, a 
program like that, how is that sold to a potential sponsor? Does a 
sponsor generally just say to a buyer some place, you go out and 
buy me x rating points with this demographic capability? Or are 
you sending people out to say, here is the program coming up and 
it is going to be a dynamite program, here is what we are going 
to charge for it? I mean how does tne marketing of a program 
work? 

Mr. Stringer. Well, I am not absolutely familiar with the cir- 
cumstances around Murder in the Heartland, but I would bet that 
the movie did not do very well with advertisers. Advertisers are 
warned by our standards and practices division and our sales de- 
partment about the nature of the content. And if indeed that movie 
is controversial or violent or adult in tone, they are advised, and 
they have the responsibility to pull out. And that happens now 
more than ever. 

Now, as to the content of Murder in the Heartland — and I am 
not thrilled about the cigarette relationship, but the truth is that 
we are educating ourselves on the depersonalization effects of vio- 
lence more thoughtfully than we used to. I think that goes for the 
media as a whole. That is our responsibility. I do not suggest we 
did a fantastic job in the eighties or even the early nineties. 

We have treated violence without awareness occasionally of its 
consequences. But I do think more of that is cut out, and I do not 
think the mayhem will be repeated. 

On the other hand, in fairness, a Canadian movie that we put 
on the air, which was about incest, was advertised as such about 
a delicate adult subject, and advertisers pulled out virtually en- 
tirely. It was an award winning movie that was actually a thought- 
ful and reflective and nongratuitous movie. We lost $1 million in 
advertising on that. 

So, I know the cynicism notwithstanding, the climate is changing 
both amonest advertisers and affiliates. There are, after all, if you 
do not think our standards and practices do a good enough job, af- 



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filiates are now more careful than they ever were, and so are ad- 
vertisers. So, we are left with shows naked at the end of the day 
sometimes. 

Senator Dorgan. If I might make one other observation. I have 
served in the Congress now 14 years — ^nearly 14 years, and I do not 
think I have ever supported something that is considered censor- 
ship. I generally do not support censorship, and I think it moves 
us in exactly tne wrong direction. My proposal is an almost im- 
measurably modest proposal by which we would produce informa- 
tion and give it to people and empower people with the informa- 
tion. 

But a newspaper, in an editorial, reviewed that and su^ested — 
their conclusion was I was a dangerous Senator for proposing what 
I had proposed. Do any of vou on the panel think that what we are 
talking about up here is dangerous? Would you characterize it as 
dangerous, my proposal or others? 

Mr. Valenti. I will speak to the details. Your proposal is to re- 
port on what progprams are violent. And that is not the same as 
saying, as Senator HoUings did, about airlines reporting ontime ar- 
rival. They either arrived on time or they did not. It is a dichotomy 
that is veiy easy to spot. 

I think I would add one thing to your bill, Senator. And that is 
to define what it is that vou mean by violence so that someone 
could report on what it is tnat you want to measure. 

Mr. Stringer. Which, indeed, advertisers do. 

There is a difference. Someone on the panel earlier said that they 
would begin a pro-am by outlining the number of people killed in 
a program. Well, if we aid War and Remembrance, which was a 
story about the Holocaust, it would seem strange to begin it that 
way. Or Lonesome Dove, which is a western morality play in 
which, indeed, people were killed. 

There is a difference between those kind of programming, which 
indeed have violent content, than the one I think you are anxious 
to destroy, and justifiable anxious to destroy, which is to say gratu- 
itous violence — ^violence which is designed to titillate and amuse 
and entertain at the expense of thoughtfulness or rationality. 

And if you can break that out, then it is not a problem. But you 
do not want to discourage — ^we are not likely to put on Richard III 
because the advertisers would not like the ratings. But they would 
not like the violence either. So, it is a slightly complicated issue. 
And I do not take issue with you in the goal at all. 

Mr. Cox. May I iust comment also that I think you, perhaps, 
helped define the dilemma we are in in your conversations with the 
Attorney General this morning, when, I think, from your perspec- 
tive, cowboys shooting bad guys and singing a song adflerward was 
not deemed violence, but chainsawing somebody in half, from your 
perspective, was. Well, let's accept tnat as a definition, but I am 
not sure you would get agreement from other members of the panel 
that that is the correct and appropriate definition. So, I think it is 
very hard for us to conclude what is the "violence" that we are try- 
ing to measure. 

I would go a little further on the other piece of your legislation 
which is to publish the list of advertisers who support and adver- 
tise on violent shows, and just suggest that the other intent of that 



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piece is really an attempt to drive advertisers away from those 
shows. And I euess if you do not think advertisers should be spon- 
soring those snows you ought to do something about it directly, 
rather than hope that the public will be some kind of vigilantes to 
take up the cudgel. 

I get very worried — and I am not suggesting that is your intent 
here at all — when the Government starts publishing lists of groups 
of people whose behavior they think is contrary to the public good. 
That, to me, begins to smack of blacklists and all the potential 
problems that go along with that. So, I do have some concerns. 

Senator Dorgan. I might just say it is the antithesis of that, in 
fact. It is empowering people with information to do what tney 
want with that information. And the fact is they now walk around 
with essentially no information. And I do not think you would find 
disagreement about whether a chainsaw murder shown in graphic 
detail is excessive violence. I would guess it would be hard to find 
a context and a story in which that was something you would find 
with redeeming value. 

So, at least among the three of us, we might start with chainsaw 
murders and say, you know, we ought to at least keep those out 
of prime time for kids to see. Mr. Stringer has a 10-month-old, and 
he not only by his decisions talks to mv 6- and 4-year-old in our 
home, he is goine to be talking to his children as well. 

And I would hope that we will find ways to be more sensitive 
about what kinds of violence are we portraying during what hours 
of the dav, in order to be sensitive to the needs of our children. 
That is the point we have been trying to make, and others have 
made it more eloquently than I. But that is the purpose of this 
hearing. 

Mr. Stringer. We would not put Chainsaw Massacre on the net- 
work imder any circumstance, if that cheers you up at all. 

Senator Dorgan. Thank you. 

The Chairman. Senator Burns. 

Senator Burns. My question will be very short, because I would 
imagine that you are probably running a little thin on groceries 
about right now. [Laughter.] 

Well, I snuck out and ate. I have never missed a meal nor do I 
plan to. 

I want to get back to where I think Senator Dorgan was headed. 
And I think we look at this; how do we define violence and who 
defines it? 

Now, to me — the chairman thought that was pretty violent in 
that saloon when they were fighting. Now, if he was raised in Mon- 
tana that did not look too violent, you know. [Laughter.] 

We usually hit what we look at. It is kind of Tike in Texas too. 
I think Mr. Valenti would think that that was pretty slapstick. And 
I enjoyed that. I do not think that does — ^to my notion — and this 
is how, people will vary it, and I imderstand what problem you 
have, that was funny to me; to him, he saw it in a different light. 

And it was like I alluded a while ago. last night we went to see, 
I thought, a very delightful movie. -Ajia it was a violent movie, if 
ou like football. Rudy, I mean they rim over that little old kid just 
ike a steamroller. And he is all beat up and now that is violence. 
And I mean he is bleeding and it looked like real stuff to me. 



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But you expect that in that setting. If you see a war picture, you 
expect violence in that setting. I think what we — and but what we 
are looking at today, and the more I hear this question here. I said 
if you really want to take a violence, just take a look at the local 
newscasts. I mean they all lead ofT with murders. I mean, if we 
took all the murders in the DC newscasts here and if we took the 
murder out of the newscasts, they could do the news in 15 minutes. 
They could do it in 15 minutes. But they go out there and they do 
everything in detail, I mean to the blood on the streets. I mean, 
they get a closeup of that 

So, I understand where you are coming from and I know it is 
real — and I do not think there is legislation that can deal with 
that, to be honest with you, that you could stay within the Con- 
stitution of the United States of America. 

It is like I said, I do not understand why some of these very big, 
strong, powerful groups — and they call themselves public interest 
groups when they are basically — where is the NEA and the AFL- 
CIO? Do they come in and talk to you and say we have got a prob- 
lem in our communities and we would like to work with you to 
clean up some of this, or their perspective? Or where is the PTA? 
Are they walking in there and nationally saying, you know, we 
need some help with this. 

But I want to ask — and any of you can respond to those if you 
like. But, Jack, I saw Rudy and I think that is a delightful movie 
and I would recommend that to any family to see that, because of 
the story. It is a great story. I know a couple of the people that 
was involved in that. I know them personally. I know Dan Devine 
personally and I know it to be true. But it is a great story and well 
done. 

Mr. Valenti. It is. And it is about football. And the violence is 
football violence where, as you say, these big guys they just roll 
over this kid and he stays in there with a great tenacity. But it 
is about football, mainly u)otball practice. 

Senator Burns. That is all. He only got in two plays in his whole 
career at Notre Dame, and that is a great story. 

Senator Dorgan. If the Senator would yield on that point. I un- 
derstand the point you make and it is a good point, except that you 
went to the movies someplace. You got in the car and you were in- 
vited to go to a movie. We are talking about a television box that 
is in the living room and there is a difference, and I just think that 
distinction needs to be made. 

Senator Burns. But do not we have to — somewhere in this whole 
give and take, this dialog, do not we have to say, OK, somewhere 
there has to be some personal responsibility. Gfovernment cannot 
do everything. There has to be some kind of responsibility, either 
be it parental or whatever. 

Senator Dorgan. Yes, and I agree with that. I would say in an- 
swer to your other question, we have got representatives n-om the 
PTA ana National Coalition on Television Violence here, and I will 
bet you a dime to a doughnut that they have been talking to all 
these folks and talking to all these folks repeatedly for years. 

Senator Burns. Well, I wanted to iust ask a question. Now, I 
know the networks have the standards and pi tice departments. 



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Do you in cable, or is there any other — or do they have practices 
and standards, Mr. Valenti? 

Mr. Valenti. Well, let me just inject here that the movie indus- 
try dealt with this issue 25 years ago. I personally visited with the 
governing boards, the PTA, the Daughters of the Confederacy, the 
Knights of Columbus. I went to the National Education Associa- 
tion. I dealt with everybody to set up a voluntary movie rating sys- 
tem which gives cautionary warnings to parents. So, before you go 
out of your house we say you had oetter find out about this film. 
Please do not go see an R film and take your kids with you because 
it is adult material. Please do not do it. 

And we certify that in advance. Now, we have been doing that 
for 25 years and it has lasted, Mr. Chairman. Nothing lasts that 
long in a volatile marketplace unless you are providing some kind 
of a benefit to the people that you aim to serve. So, we have taken 
this on a long time ago and are dealing with it right now. 

Senator Burns. Do any of you agree that maybe using the V chip 
or the code in the VCRs, is that a good idea under Government 
mandatory? 

Mr. Stringer. Well. I think the V chip— the intent, as Senator 
Dorgan says, is a valid one, is to get gratuitous violence off the air. 
The V chip is all inclusive. It is tne thin end of the wedge. I mean 
when is a V chip not a V chip. And if you begin with a V chip for 
violence, why not political correctness, why not sex, why not what- 
ever. 

If a V chip had taste and was able to eliminate the stuff that we 
all agree is gratuitous, you would encourage it. But the V chip is 
all inclusive. Gone is Lonesome Dove. Gone is the Civil War. Gone 
is everything unless you are careful. Besides, the technology is 
moving along, as such, that I think as the television set becomes 
more and more refined, I think it will become easier for parents to 
get rid of violent shows than it used to be. 

Senator Burns. Well, I thank all of you and I am interested in 
your testimony. And, Mr. Chairman, I thank you very much. Do 
not V out Lonesome Dove. That had a great destination. 

The Chairman. Very good. As the distinguished Senator says, we 
in Government are limited. But some in the hallway are talking as 
lawyers that somehow we cannot do anything. The fact of the mat- 
ter is, and I will insert in the record the Ginsburg Feber Pacifica 
decisions. 

And just one line from Action for Children's Television versus 
FCC by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, now an Associate Justice of the U.S. 
Supreme Court when she was on the circuit court of appeals. That 
the power of the State to control the conduct of children reaches 
beyond the scope of its authority over adults. Channeling is de- 
signed to protect unsupervised children. 

And in Action for Children's Television v. FCC, and I quote, "the 
reasonable safe harbor rule was constitutionally mandated. And 
that is the gun that we aim down the middle of the Constitution 
and the first amendment to make sure that we did not try to go 
beyond our particular authority or responsibility." 

And otherwise, we will include in the record the summary of TV 
Guide. There is no more respected organ in television than TV 
Guide itself And on last April — or rather I should say April of last 



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year, April 2, 1992, they retained a particular nonprofit monitoring 
company to go out on a Thursday. They said it was chosen because 
it was a heavily viewed night of television by a wide cross section 
of America. The prime time shows on that evening tend to be popu- 
lar, well known series on down the list. 

And it starts with how much violence is there. It starts with one 
sentence: "More televised violence than at any time in the medi- 
um's history is flowing into American homes." Now, I can break it 
down. Mr. DeVaney, you win the prize. I am quoting; "the outlet 
purveying the most violence that particular spring day was the im- 
affiliated stations, 376 scenes or 1 every 3 minutes. But it has got 
all the different networks and channels. 

That will be included in the record. 

Are there any further comments by any of the five panelists? 

Mr. Valenti. Well, I would just like to say again, Mr. Chair- 
man — as I said, this is my first time in all of these years to be a 
part of this. I care about this issue and I am attending myself per- 
sonally to it. And I told this to Senator Simon and others and to 
several Members of the House, that if I thought at some time over 
the next few months that what we were trying to do was not work- 
ing, then I was eoing to come back and say, look, I iust do not 
thmk this is working and I am going to remove myself as one of 
the leaders in it. And it is going to carry on, but I do not feel com- 
fortable with it. 

And I have been around this town a long time. I do not have to 
prove anything. And the one thing I want to carry away with me 
is the fact that when I give a pledge, I redeem it. And if I cannot 
do it, I will tell you and I will back away. 

The Chairman. Well, we thank you very much, each of you. We 
appreciate your appearance today. 

The committee will be in recess subject to the call of the Chair. 

[Whereupon, at 2:25 p.m., the hearing adjourned.] 



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APPENDIX 



Prepared Statement op Senator Dorgan 

Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this hearing on television violence. I want 
to welcome the witnesses who will testify today, including Attorney General Janet 
Reno. Her presence here demonstrates her commitment to pursue the nation's crime 
problems to their roots, and I applaud her for that. 

In addition, I want to welcome our colleagues Senators David Durenbui^er, Carl 
Levin and Paul Simon. Senator Simon in particular has done much to raise the 
awareness of the entire nation on the problem wc will address today, and he de- 
serves our praise. 

My main concern is that the Congress has been down this road so many times 
before. This is not the first congressional Committee to examine the violence that 
television pours into the nation's living rooms. Almost forty years ago, at the veiy 
bennning of the TV age, the Subcommittee an Juvenile Delinquency of the Senate 
Juaiciary Committee addressed this issue in hearings held all over the United 
States. Since that time, the issue has come up again and a^ain. 

Each time, the pattern has been the same. Members of the public express outrage 
and concern over the bloodshed that a handfull of media magnates aour into the 
nation's living rooms. The networks either deny the problem, or offer earnest prom- 
ises of reform. And then, nothing. The nation s attention shifts to other problems, 
as it always does. 

Time and again, there has been absolutely nothing to show for all the commotion, 
besides hearing records that turn yellow In the Library of Congress, and the prom- 
ises of the network executives that wafl off into Washington's gaseous atmosphere. 

We must not let that happen again. We must resolve to take action that will rein- 
force the professed good intentions of the networks, and enlist the weight of public 
displeasure against any that don't follow through. 

Television confronts us with a problem not seen before in histoiy. It enables a 
ffroup of adults — called networks and cable channels — to bypass parents, slip past 
me iront door of the home, and enter the family living room where they can speak 
directly to the children. 

Television enables these adults to fill the minds of these children with images of 
violence and gore that parents would never, ever, show on their own. It enables 
these adults to teach our youngsters that the way to solve problems and resolve con- 
flicts and be cool is to take a gun and shoot somebody. (Back in 1954, one doctor 
told the Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency that the flood of violence on TV sug- 

gested psychological disorder among those responsible for it. What kind of person, 
e asked, parades images of bloodshed and gore in front of innocent young chil- 
dren?) 

I hope we will not hear today that there is no "proven" relationship between the 
images that children take into their minds for five hours a day, and their eventual 
behavior. I hope we will not hear calls for more research and further study. Any 
parent knows we don't need more studies. Anyone who works with inner city young- 
sters knows that the impact of television violence can be especially great when there 
are no strong adult influences to buffer the impact of TV. 

Here's what an inmate at the Maryland State penitentiary said on this subject 
in the Washington Post: 

*Every day Americans 4,000 prisons and jails receive an influx of young Afri- 
can-American males as new inmates. Many of the mil lion -plus inmates have 
been convicted of senseless crimes of violence. The majority of these men first 
encountered crime and a glamorized view of the drug trade through a TV set. 
Inside — ^being 'corrected* — they now spend the great bulk of their days watching 
TV. 
Or listen to Mr. Lawrence Gordon, who produced the 1979 movie "The Warriors." 
The movie was recalled because it prompted so much violence on the part of young 
viewers. Three killings were linked to the film the first week it was shown. 

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I'd be lying if I said that people dont imitate what they see on the screen," Mr. 
Gordon said recently. "I would be a moron to say thev don't, because look how dress 
styles change. We have people who want to look like Julia Roberts and Michelle 
Preiffer and Madonna. Of course we imitate. It is impossible for me to think they 
would imitate our dress, our music, our look, but not imitate any of our violence 
or our other actions." 

Of course children imitate. Of course they pick up cues from television regarding 
how to solve their problems and how to be cool. That's why advertisers soend so 
many millions striving to reach those kids through TV. And that's why we have to 
help parents reach those advertisers. 

Television is a habit. One student of the industry called it a *Tlup-In Druff," espe- 
cially where children are concerned. Violence on TV is an addiction too— ooth for 
the audience that watches it and for the TV executives that put it there. As with 
any addiction, it takes constantly bigger doses to achieve the same effect. 

That's why TV violence grew out of control during the ISSCs. Prime time violence 
tripled during the 1980'8; by the early 1990's, some 1800 scenes of violence were 
projected into the American home in a typical broadcast day. Last year there were 
32 acts of violence per hour on children's snows — an all-time record. 

While America had crack in the streets, it had the media equivalent in the broad- 
cast and cable suites, as pro-am executives dispensed larger and larger doses of 
violence to get their ratings high. 

We can't break this adoiction with earnest resolutions or spasms of high-level con- 
cern. The only way to break a bad habit is to establish better ones, and to reinforce 
those new ones constantly, we have to build those reinforcements ri^t into the in- 
formation infrastructure of our society. We need a cultural warning light that 
flakes when the broadcasters cable programmers start to slip back into tneir old 
ways. If we don't do this — if we leave this room today satisfied with the apologies 
ana good intentions of the network executives — then we will have done notning at 
all, and we should just call ofT this hearing and save the taxpayers some money. 

We have to make the television industry accountable, and tne way to do this is 
public information, in the free marketplace of ideas. 

It is not the role of government in this country to tell people what they can watch. 
Nor should we try to tell broadcasters and sponsors what they can put on the air. 
But it is the role of government to help make the free marketplace work, by provid- 
ing information to the public — information on which they can make their own free 
choices. That's what I'm proposing regarding violence on TV. 

Under this approach, tne government wouldn't regulate; parents would, and other 
concerned adults too. Government would do for them no more than it does for busi- 
ness of all kinds: gather information that would help parents express their own free 
choices. 

Specifically, under my proposal, the Federal Communications Commission would 
issue a quarterly report on violence on TV. It would tell the public which shows, 
and whicn corporate sponsors, portray the most violence. Parents could then send 
a market message on the subject of violence on TV — one the corporate sponsors 
would understand. 

The FCC would make these reports quarterly, including at least one "sweeps" 
week, when netwoiics push the peadle to the floor to get hi^er ratings. At first me 
survey would include the major networks plus Fox and cable. It would not cost 
much money. The National Coalition on Television Violence, which has done surveys 
along this fine from time to time, says that they cost about $10,000 a shot. Even 
allowing for bureaucratic overhead, we're talking about a pittance, especially consid- 
ering the benefits to the whole society. 

Besides, why shouldn't the government start helping parents, the way it helps 
corporations? The federal government spends millions and probably billions of dol- 
lars a year, gathering data for use by business. The Census Bureau alone provides 
a treasure trove of demographic research for ad agencies and corporate marketing 
departments. Corporations use this government data to target consumers. Now it's 
time to give parents data by which they can target advertisers who are abusing 
their children. 

If Americans don't reallv care about this violence, then it would continue. If they 
do care about it, and send their market message accordingly, then it would change. 
That's the wav a democracy and a market economy are supposed to work. 

I am glad that the broadcast industry has taken some steps already. It may turn 
out to be a good idea to have uniform violence standards, along with advisories on 
certain programs that contain violence. The signs of effort here are to be com- 
mended. But 1 must add that, afler forty years of escalating violence and public con- 
cern, the industry cannot be accused of undue haste. More importantly, it worries 
me that the industry's steps put the solution solely in the hands of the perpetrators. 



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In a society that tries to act on democratic market principles, there has to be a 

Sealer role for an informed public as well. Put another way, we need an answer 
at works from the ground up, not just from the top down; and that strengthens 
the roles of families and conununities as the bulwarks of standards in our society. 
Once again Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this hearing. 



Prepared Statement of the American Medical Association 

"Hie American Medical Association (AMA) is pleased to submit this statement for 
the record of the Conunittee's October 20, 1993 hearing regarding the three above- 
captioned bills. The conunents concerning these bills are based on a preliminary 
analysis and are submitted in order to provide you these views prior to the close 
of tl^e record. AMA's Council on Legislation and Board of Trustees will be consider- 
ing these bills for official policy positions, and we will forward to you that final ac- 
tion when completed. 

S. 1383, the "Children's Protection from Violent Procranmiing Act of 1993," intro- 
duced by Committee Chairman Hollinffs and Senator Inouye, would make it unlaw- 
ful for any person to ''I) distribute to tne public any violent video programming dur- 
ing hours when children are reasonably likely to comprise a substantial portion of 
the audience; or 2) knowingly produce or provide material for such distribution." 
The bill delegates definition of tne terms "hours when children are reasonably likely 
to comprise a substantial portion of the audience" and 'Violent video programming* 
to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) through administrative rule- 
making. S. 973, the "Television Violence Report Card Act of 1993," introduced by 
Senators Dorgan and Conrad, would require the FCC to 1) evaluate and rate tele- 
vision programs, with respect to the extent of the violence contained in those pro- 
Sams; and 2) publish such ratings in the form of a "television report card." S. 943, 
e "CShildren's Television Violence Act of 1993," introduced by Senator Duren- 
beiger, is intended to "protect children from the physical and mental harm resulting 
from violence containea in television programs," through FCC development of stand- 
ards which would require "broadcast television licensees, and cable operators, in- 
cluding cable pro^anmiers, to include, at the beginning of the programming, and 
at other appropriate times during such programming, a warning label, with an 
audio voice over, to the effect that the programming may contain violence, or unsafe 
gun practices, and may adversely affect the mental or physical health, or both, of 
a child, and may, if tne events portrayed in such programming occur in real life, 
warrant the imposition of criminal penalties." 

While the AMA does not support an outright banning of programs with violence 
or regulating the content of programs, we do support minimally restrictive measures 
designed to promote and acnieve the compelling governmental interests to protect 
chilcu^n from the harmful effects of violent programming. We believe that action is 
needed to halt at least some of the violent behavior in our society that too many 
of our children learn through watching television. The AMA, as the major national 
professional organization representing physicians in this country (who themselves 
are burdened with what is often perceived as an excessive amount of governmental 
regulation), is sensitive to the concerns of the television industry relating to regula- 
tion and free speech. We feel that each of these three bills strikes a reasonable bal- 
ance between curbing children's exposure to television violence and preservation of 
broadcasters' and programmers' First Amendment liberties. 

The authors of legislation must be very careful to frame appropriate regulation 
without treading on First Amendment or other rights. In this regard, in comments 
made in introducing S. 1383, Senator Hollings cited a 1989 United States Supreme 
Court decision holding that the government may regulate constitutionally protected 
speech in order to promote a compelling interest "if it chooses the least restrictive 
means to further the articulated interest. " Senator Hollings proceeds to state that 
he is "convinced this bill is the least restrictive means by which we can limit chil- 
dren's exposure to violent programming." 

In introducing S. 973, Senator Dorgan maintained: 

I do not suggest we ou^t to censor * * * what I would do is use a simple, 
market-based approach: give parents information * * * give parents and give 
the American people the information with which to make viewing decisions for 
themselves ana for their children. 
In introducing S. 943, Senator Durenberger declared: 

In my view, this is a moderate approach that is consistent with the First 
Amendment. As I said earlier, it does not mandate that no violence can be 
shown on TV * * * Further, to stay within First Amendment guidelines, the 
bill makes no content distinctions based, for example, on whether the violence 



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is gratuitous or merely incidental ♦ ♦ ♦ My bill would notify parents and others 
that a program may be violent and may cause harm to their children. This is 
a legitimate health and safety concern. Anyone who knows public health will 
tell you that the biggest public health problem today is violence. In my opinion, 
enacting this bill would be an anticnme measure every bit as important as 
some ofthe provisions in this year's crime bill. 
We want to reiterate a point made by Senator Durenberger: This is a legitimate 
health and safety concern. It is no secret that we live in a terribly violent society. 
Undeniably, violence in the United States has reached epidemic proportions. In ad- 
dressing it, we cannot overlook that violence is a major medical and public health 
issue. In addition to having a severe, broad-reaching negative impact on the health 
of Americans, violence results in a huge number of encounters with the health care 
system. Care for the victims of violence strains the health care system and adds sig- 
nificantly to the U.S. health care bill. It has been reported that over 500,000 emer- 
gency department visits annually are due to violent injury and that two-thirds of 
crime victims treated in hospitals are uninsured. It has "been estimated that the di- 
rect medical costs of all violent injuries add more than $5.3 billion to U.S. health 
expenditures. 

Violence in general is clearly an enormous and at least partially avoidable public 
health problem in this country today; particularly alarming is the prevalent depic- 
tion of violent behavior on television, especially in terms of its "role-modeling" ca- 
pacity to potentially promote "real-world' violence. The AMA decries such depictions 
of violence. In a policy statement adopted as long ago as 1976, the AMA "aeclares 
that TV violence threatens the health and welfare of young Americans, commits it- 
self to remedial actions with interested parties, and encourages opposition to TV 
programs containing violence and to their sponsors." Reaffirming this policy was a 
1982 statement expressing "vigorous opposition to television violence" and clearly 
stating our "support for efforts designed to increase the awareness of physicians and 
patients that television violence is a risk factor threatening the health of young peo- 
ple." 

Without a doubt, the majority of the American public is concerned about and dis- 
turbed by the phenomenon of TV violence. A Times Mirror nationwide poll of 1,516 
adult Americans conducted in February of 1993 indicated that more than 72 percent 
of those surveyed felt that entertainment TV is too violent, and 80 percent believed 
it to be harmful to the nation. 

Epidemiology professor Brandon S. Centerwall, MD, MPH, stated in his article 
"Television and Violence: The Scale of the Problem and where to Go from Here," 
which appeared in the June 10, 1992 issue of the Journal of the American Medical 
Association, that "children's exposure to television and television violence should be- 
come part of the public health agenda, along with car safety seats, bicycle helmets, 
inununizations, and good nutrition." In his testimony before this Subcommittee on 
May 12 of this year. Dr. Centerwall maintained that "if; hypothetically, television 
technology had never been developed, there would today be 10,000 fewer homicide 
deaths each year." The mere implication of a relationship between TV violence and 
homicide, much less 10,000 homicides each year, cries out that we have an enor- 
mous problem! 

A number of interrelated factors exist which contribute to the enormity of the TV 
violence problem in this country today. First and foremost is the fact that so many 
individuals and families, of practically all ases and socioeconomic levels, own one 
or more TV sets. There are millions and millions of TV sets in this nation; this is 
perfectly understandable, since TV is a convenient and relatively inexpensive form 
of entertainment. Thus, there is tremendous access to TV; it has inundated our cul- 
ture, drawing viewers of all age ranges, backgrounds and socioeconomic levels. Since 
TV and the violence it depicts reaches so many individuals, its effect upon society 
is, correspondingly, greatly magnified. 



Next, not only is the TV medium so prevalent, in terms of access by huge num- 
bers of individuals, the problem of TV violence and its societal effects is further aug- 
mented by the fact that, particularly in lai^e metropolitan areas and on cable, TV 



programming is broadcast at all times of the day and night. This further increases 
viewers* access to TV violence. 

In addition, the TV violence oroblem is exacerbated by the fact that the violence 
cuts across so many difierent lines of programming. A great variety of different 
types of programming contain violence, ranging from the reporting on the network 
news to T^aj-life* en me action shows such as "Cops" or "Rescue 911," from sports 
such as boxing and wrestling to dramatized or fictionalized made-for TV movies on 
any number of subjects involving crime, murder, rape and violence in general. 

TV violence may have particularly harmful or negative effects upon certain sec- 
ments of the viewing population, including children, emotionally unstable indivia- 



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129 

uals with volatile personalities, and spouse or child abusers (that is, upon those too 
young to understand or otherwise unable or ill-equipped to comprehend that vio- 
lence should not be employed as a means to solve proDlems and to "right" perceived 
wrongs). 

Peniaps most troubling are the potentially deleterious effects which TV violence 
may have upon children. It has been estimated that the typical American child is 
exposed to an average of 27 hours of television each week, and that some inner city 
children are exposed to as much as 11 hours per day. It has further been estimated 
that the typical American child will watch 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of vio- 
lence on television before finishing elementaiy school and that, by the age of 18, 
that same child will have witnessed 200,000 acts of violence on TV, including 40,000 
murders. 

It is well-established that children learn behaviors by example. They have an in- 
stinctive desire to imitate actions which they observe, without always possessing the 
intellect or maturity to determine if such actions are appropriate, this principle cer- 
tainly applies to TV violence. We must take measures to curb TV violence if we are 
to have any chance of halting the violent behavior that many of our children learn 
through watohin^ television. If we fail to do so, and instead continue to expose our 
children to ever-increasing amounts of violence on television, it is a virtual certainty 
that the situation will continue to get worse. According to the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation, we are already currently in the midst of an unrivaled period of juve- 
nile violent crime among youth from all races, social classes and lifestyles. 

As Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota has aptly expressed, with regard to vio- 
lent crime: These aren't Just poor kids in inner cities. These are kids who live in 
the country, in the suburbs, rich kids, city kids, farm kids. The increase in violent 
crimes committed by children, and against children, affects families of every race 
and every income level. The problem is growing for all of us." 

As physicians, we are also concerned that, notwithstanding TV program content 
and its potential to promote violent juvenile behavior, the mere expenditure of 27 
hours each week watehing television by the typical American child is problematic. 
Sitting in one spot and watohing television for 27 hours a week takes that many 
hours away from time that the child could be outside playing, riding a bicycle, exer- 
cising. Thus, it could have negative consequences upon the child's physical develop- 
ment and contribute to such conditions as childhood obesity. In addition, those same 
27 hours are detracting from the time that the child could be spending studyinff, 
reading books, or engaged in other constructive activities to promote his or her mtei- 
lectual development. 

At this point, we would like to take note of the agreement reached at the end of 
this past June between the ABC, CBS, NBC, and Imdx television networks to adopt 
an "Advance Parental Advisory" plan to identify violent network entertainment pro- 
gramming. The "Advance Parental Advisory" reads: "Due to some violent content, 
parental discretion advised." while each network retains authority under the agree- 
ment to decide on the appropriate use of the "Advance Parental Advisoiy," according 
to agreement on broad standards for its application by the four networks, it is to 
be used "when, in the judgment of the network, the overall level of violence in a 
program, the graphic nature of the violent content, or the tone, message or mood 
of the program make it appropriate." In addition, according to the agreement, "in 
considering the use of an advisoiy, the network will evaluate such factors as the 
context of the violent depiction, the composition of the intended audience and the 
time period of broadcast. Advisories would be used selectively to highlight and sin- 
gle out for parents specific programs where the violent content is unexpected, graph- 
ic or pervasive." 

We view the ABC-CBS-NBC-Fox agreement as a good first step toward helping 

Sarents become involved in making more informed viewing decisions for their chil- 
ren, but merely a start. We feel that far more must be done, and done soon, to 
curb TV violence. As regards the June 30 agreement, first of all, the networks them- 
selves are going to be doing the monitoring, deciding what is and is not goin^ to 
be deemed violent. This may or may not prove to yield an appropriate measunng- 
stick as far as the identification of violent programming is concerned. However, even 
if for purposes of argument it is agreed that the networks will be honest, reasonable 
and forthcoming in their use of the "Advance Parental Advisory," it still offers a 
quite incomplete and ineffective solution to the problem. This is because, while in 
an ideal world, parents and children would sit together and wateh TV, with the par- 
ent exerting mature and appropriate influence in guiding the child's viewing behav- 
iors, we all know that we do not live in such an ideal world. Often, due to the preva- 
lence of TV sets in this country, the parent will be watehing TV in one room while 
the children will be watohing TV in other rooms. Furthermore, it ?s a plain and sim- 
ple fact of life that parents can't always be physically present to supervise their chil- 



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dren. When unsupenrised, children will frequently do the exact opposite of what 
their parents would want them to do. In this respect, the "Advance Parental Advi- 
80iy^ might be "counter-productive" and have just the opposite eflect of what it is 
supposedly intended to da— that is, upon seeing the ''Advance Parental Advisory" 
appear on the TV screen, the child may be even more likely to sit down and view 
the programming. 

Another major problem with the June 30 agreement is that it merely calls for 
identification of violent TV progranmiing. It does not go to the heart of the problem 
and mandate or bring about a reduction in the amount of TV violence. Furthermore, 
the June 30 agreement is, of course, limited to the four networks entering into it; 
cable television networks, which also present much violent programming, are not at 
all afiected, nor are local stations showing nationally produced syndicated series. 
Also, the June 30 agreement mi^t not even reach some types of violent program- 
ming, such as cartoons, on the four netwoiks entering into it. 

In conclusion, the AMA membership has extremely strong feelings about the sub- 
ject of TV violence and has long spoken out against such violence. Most recently, 
we have submitted a statement for the hearing record of the June 8, 1993 joint 
hearing of the Constitution and Juvenile Justice Subcommittees of the UJS. Senate 
Judiciary Conmiittee regarding TV and motion picture violence in America and have 
testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on 
Teleoonmiunications and Finance at its hearing on July 29, 1993. In addition, we 
have worked with Senator Kent Conrad, joining his National Task Force on TV Vio- 
lence and circulating petitions for signature in the physician community to ui^ge ac- 
tion regarding violence on television and in motion pictures. To date, we have con- 
tributed approximately 4,000 signatures. 

Physicians, throu^ the AMA, will continue to voice alarm over the rising tide of 
violence in Ajnerica. We are concerned that TV violence is a factor that contributes 
to the real violence that adds over $5.3 billion to our national expenditures for 
health care. Frankly, we feel that this is a subject which simply cannot get too much 
attention. 

The time for action is now; considering the damage to our society that TV violence 
is capable of causing, there truly is not a moment to spare. 



Letter From Senator Carl Levin, Chairman, Subcommittee on Oversight of 
Government Management 

November 3. 1993. 
The Honorable Erneot F. Rollings, 
U,S, Senate, 
Washington, DC 20510 

Dear Fritz: Thank you for the opportunity to testify regarding my legislation on 
violent promotional ads, S. 1556, at your committee's recent hearing on TV violence. 
The information gained at that hearing, particularly the testimony of Attorney Gen- 
eral Janet Reno, is veiy useful in the debate on thin issue. 

I want to inform you of a correction to my testimony regarding the actions of the 
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to my request for their 
opinion on my proposed legislation. At the hearing I indicated that the FCC had 
"not even answered our letters on this, because they could do this by regulation if 
they chose to do so." At the time, I was unaware that James Quelle, Chairman of 
the FCC, had just sent a response to my request. 

Chairman Quelle stated in his letter that it was the FCC's position that in order 
for the FCC to have authority to act in the area of television violence, legislation 
is needed. Thou^ I was unaware of this at the time, I want to make sure the record 
accurately reflects the position of the FCC. I have enclosed a copy of the letter from 
Chairman Quelle and ask that it be included in your hearing record along with a 
copy of this letter. 

Ijiank you for your attention to this particular matter and for your good woik 
in this area. 

Sincerely, 

Carl Levin, 
Chairman, Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, 



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letter from jambs h. quello, chairman, federal communications commission 

October 14» 1993. 
Honorable Carl Levin» 
U,S, Senate, 
Washington, DC 20510 

Dear Senator Levin: This is in further response to your letter of June 21» 1993, 
regarding the issue of violent oommercials on television and your follow-up letter of 
September 1, 1993. You request a more specific response as to the possibility of a 
Conmiission rule requiring that copies of oommercials be maintainea and for a re- 
port on the status of a pending petition for rule making relating to the violence 
issue. 

The Commission at this time has enforcement power over the broadcast of obscene 
and indecent programming pursuant to specific statutory provisions but there are 
no parallel statutory provisions relating to violence. Thus concerns in this area are 
currently addressed only through such voluntary self-regulatory efforts as are, for 
example, taking place under Senator Simon's antitrust exemption legislation. In the 
absence of applicable Commission substantive regulations, there would be no imme- 
diate regulatoiy rationale for the maintenance of copies of violent commercials. If 
the Commission were provided with broader authority with respect to violent pro- 

Samminff, it would be desirable for the Commission to consider rules to facilitate 
e complaint process but our experience in other areas suggests this might be ac- 
complished without recording and retention requirements. In this regara it is per- 
haps worth noting that a statutory requirement that copies be maintained of certain 
programming on noncommercial stations to facilitate the complaint process, for- 
merly contained in Section 399(b) of the Communications Act, was held to be uncon- 
stitutional in the 1978 decision of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Community- 
Service Broadcasting of Mid-America v. FCC. 

The Foundation to Improve Television rule making petition, referred to in my pre- 
vious correspondence, is intended to address an "excessive amount of dramatized vi- 
olence and to alleviate the harmful effect of such programming]' during diildren's 
viewing hours. A copy of FIT'S specific rule proposal is attached. This petition is cur- 
rently under review and, as vou can see from he proposed rule, raises a number of 
difficult definitional and enforcement issues beyond the more general question of 
whether this is a matter properly addressed by the Commission in the absence of 
specific legislative guidance. 
Sincerely, 

James H. Quello, 

Chcurman. 



§73. Violent television programming. 

1(a). Authorization, including but not limited to, a construction permit, license, li- 
cense renewal, franchise, etc., for the operation of a broadcast television station, 
cable franchise or other facility or arrangement for oroviding television program- 
ming to the public from the Federal Communication (Jommission or from any other 
Federal, state or local authority shall be denied or withdrawn from any licensee, 
broadcaster or other programming provider upon a finding by the appropriate au- 
thority that such party has foUowea, is following, or proposes to follow, a policy or 
practice of broadcasting or transmitting television programming containing an ex- 
cessive amount of dramatized violence between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 
p.m. 

(b). For purposes of this section, television programming contains an excessive 
amount of oramatized violence if it contains dramatized portrayals of killings, rapes, 
maimings, beatings, stranglings, stabbings, shootings, or anv other acts of violence 
which, when viewed by the average person, would oe considered excessive or inap- 
propriate for minors. 

(c). For purposes of this section, 'Sriolence" means the use or threatened use of 
physical force against another or against one's self, whether or not such act or 
threat Occurs in a realistic and serious context or in a fantastic and humorous con- 
text. Idle threats, verbal abuse, and gestures without credible violent consequences 
are not "violence" for purposes of this section. 

(d). For purposes of this section, ban excessive amount of dramatized violence 
means an amount of dramatized violence inappropriate for minors or exceeding that 
permitted by the guidelines developed by the Commission pursuant to paragraph 7 
of this section. 



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2. Telecasters shall provide appropriate advisories, both audio and visual, to warn 
viewers of any programming containing an excessive amount of dramatized violence 
telecast between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Such advisories shall explic- 
itly refer to the violent Contend of the particular programming. Such advisories 
shall be shown at the beginning of any such programming, as well as at the conclu- 
sion of all commercial breaks during any such progranuning. 

3. Telecasters shall superimpose an appropriate visual warning signal over any 
programming containing an excessive amount of dramatized violence telecast be- 
tween the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., which signal shall remain visible for 
the duration of the programming. 

4. Telecasters shall not telecast commercial advertisements or promotions for up- 
coming progranmiing between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., whidi adver- 
tisements or promotions contain an excessive amount of violence. 

5. Telecasters shall promulgate a set of common standards for classifying pro- 
gramming on the basis of violent content whidi shall be made public and available 
to all interested parties, published in generally available program guides, and dis- 
played on-screen inmiediately prior to the transmittal of the progranuning to which 
it pertains. All telecasters shall classify their progranuning according to the pro- 
sramming classification standards required by this paragraph. The standards snail 
be developed in consultation with the Commission and interested media-oriented 
public interest groups. 

6. Telecasters shall develop programming designed to educate and inform chil- 
dren about the implications ana eflects of violence, violent behavior, and the effects 
of exposure to television violence. Telecasters shall also conduct or sponsor activities 
designed to enhance the value of such programming. 

7. The Commission will convene hearings and solicit public comment on the issue 
of televised violence, after which the Commission will promulgate guidelines on pro- 
gramming containing dramatized violence telecast between the hours of 6:00 a.m. 
and 10K)0 p.m., which guidelines shall provide telecasters with a clear understand- 
ingof their responsibilities. 

The Petitioner suggests that any guidelines promulgated pursuant to Rule 7 
should contain language similar to the following: 

While violence may nave legitimate uses in television programming, it should not 
be used gratuitously. Telecasters must consider the context in which violence is 
shown. Violence must not be divorce from its consequences, both moral and physical. 
Violence should not be exaggerated in relation to the context in which it occurs. Par- 
ticular caution should be exercised when programming deals with both sexual and 
violent themes. Similarly, suicides, hangings, and the like should not be depicted 
in great detail or at length. Programs which are likely to adversely affect children's 
sensibilities should not be aired during children's viewing hours. 



Press Release— H.F. Guggenheim Urges Vigilance Againct Media Violence 

CALLS FOR MONITORING OF TV NETWORKS' COMPLIANCE WITH GUIDEUNES TO UMIT 
VIOLENT CONTENT OF PROGRAMS 

New York — ^The nation's only private foundation devoted exclusively to the study 
of violence and aggression called today for new vigilance against violence in tele- 
vision profframs and motion pictures. In issuing a report entitled *The Problem of 
Media Violence and Children's Behavior," the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation 
urged parents, children's advocates, Congress, and the entertainment industry itself 
to monitor the industiys compliance with new self-imposed guidelines designed to 
limit violent content in television programs. 

"A substantial body of scientific research now documents the damaging eflects of 
exposure to violent media content. Manv leading scientists are convinced tnat media 
violence promotes real violence," said foundation president James M. Hester. The 
entertainment industiy plays an important role in the epidemic of youth violence 
sweeping the nation. Parents, children's advocacy groups, and Congress should hold 
the networks to their promise to curb violence on television." 

The foundation called on the entertainment industry to adhere to a 15-point set 
of standards issued by the three major television networks in December 1992. ABC, 
CBS, and NBC developed the guidelines in response to a law passed by Congress 
that protected the networks from prosecution on antitrust grounds if they coordi- 
nated efforts to regulate the amount of violence in their programming. The exemp- 
tion expires at the end of this year. 

The public is anxious about the problem of media violence. 



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133 

but they don't know what's being done to address it," Hester said. This report 
supplies up-to-date information, including an important statement by Professor 
Leonard Eron of the University of Midiigan. We hope it will encourage vigilance in 
monitoring how well the TV networks live up to tneir own guidelines. Tney have 
made a social contract with the public, and tney should be held accountable to it." 

The foundation report also points out that the motion picture industry and cable 
television networks have yet to issue similar standards limiting violence. 

The initiative of the television networks is a step in the ng)it direction, but the 
remainder of the industry has yet to respond to the warnings of scientists and the 
protests of concerned citizens, Hester said. 'Tkfedia violence obviously remains a 
very serious nationalproblem." 

the Harry Frank Gugcenheim Foundation supports research in a broad range of 
disciplines m order to muminate the causes and consequences of human violence. 
The foundation's goal is to reduce violence and improve relations among people by 
increasing society^ understanding of violence and aggression. 



[Occasional Papers of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, No. 7, may be 
found in the conunittee files.] 



Letter From Ed Donnerotein, Ph.D., Professor, UNivERsrry of Caufornia, 

Santa Barbara 

John Windhausen, 

US, Senate, 

Washington, DC 20510-6125 

Dear John: Thanks for inviting me to speak last week. I hope my testimony was 
of value to the Committee. Given the rusn of people I did not have time to meet 
with you, but I did want to give you a couple of articles which might be of interest. 
One deals with the issue I raised about definitions, in the sense that it shows that 
a rape (which is violent) can have a prosocial impact if presented in the correct 
manner. The other article deals with sexual violence in tne mass media and dis- 
cusses issues on the rating system and education. 
If I can be of any further help please let me know. 
Sincerely, 

Ed Donnerttein, Fh.D., 

Professor, 



[Miscellaneous articles and materials may be found in the committee's files.] 

o 



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9'780160M63273 



9 000 



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